A race against a Mercedes-AMG A45 S Shouldn't be this close.
Some of our readers will be able to remember a time when hatchbacks with 160 horsepower were considered "hot". These days your basic Honda Civic pushes out 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, and even cars that cross the 200 hp mark are considered mild. Vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf R and manic Honda Civic Type R have set the bar so high, that it is difficult to comprehend how hatches can get any better, or faster. But a new Golf R is coming for the 2022 MY, and in a YouTube video posted by Archie Hamilton Racing, we get to see the newcomer take on the baddest hot hatch around: the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. On paper, this AMG should wipe the floor with the Golf, but as we know, the strip can be unpredictable...
First let's look at both cars' stats. The Golf R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque sent to an all-wheel drivetrain - with a drift mode - via a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission. This allows the R to sprint to 62 mph in only 4.7 seconds, and go on to a top speed limited to 155 mph. The Mercedes-AMG on the other hand can be described as a hyper hatch. Mechanically identical to the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45, Europe gets the S version, which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder M139 powerplant that churns out a massive 416 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Also aided by AWD, the AMG machine can accelerate to 62 mph in a claimed 3.9 seconds, and is clearly faster than the Golf R... on paper.
On the strip, however, the two cars line up for their first race. Both engage launch control and bolt off the line with gusto. Both cars get a clean launch, but the AMG sneaks its nose ahead at the start and seems to pull away, but in a surprising turn of events, the less powerful Golf R, which is 100 hp down on the Merc, starts to creep up at higher speed, nearly beating it across the line. The second run has the Mercedes-AMG pulling away ever so slightly, but the race is still close. On the third run, the two cars have a rolling start from 30 mph. The Golf R takes the early lead but loses out eventually. These races just go to show that you can never judge a car by its spec-sheet, and with rumors suggesting a more powerful Golf R is on the way, VW might just become kings of the hot hatch segment once again.