Just how†fast†is the†A45?

CAR vs ROAD

MERCEDES-AMG†A45 S

CAR vs ROAD

WE KNOW ITíS SEARINGLY RAPID BUT CAN A HOT HATCH REALLY RUN WITH A SPORTS-CAR ICON? WE FIND OUT

FIRST A disclaimer. We are in no way positioning the A45 S as a cut-price alternative to a Porsche 911. No matter what numbers the VBOX data logger spat out at the end of Heathcoteís strip, we all know thatís never going to be the case. One is the most respected sports coupe in the world with over half a century of heritage behind it, and the other is a hatchback with a big turbocharger under the bonnet.†Nevertheless, we were curious to see just how quick the apex of the A-Class range would be when compared with base 911, albeit fitted with the optional Sport Chrono package.

Launch control engaged, both cars fire off a dig, the all-wheel-drive AMG matching the rear-drive 911 through 100km/h, banging through its first two gears in ultra-quick time. Thereís still only a tenth in it to 170km/h whereupon the 911ís more slippery aerodynamics see it start to inch away. We can put that down largely to aero, because the 911 is 27kW and 50Nm down on the car with the three-pointed star, albeit fractionally up on power-to-weight. Time and again we repeated the sprints and the results were uncannily consistent. The first three runs for the AMG saw it hit 100km/h in 4.1, 4.0 and then 3.9 seconds. The results for the first trio of sprints for the 911? 4.1, 4.0 and 3.9 seconds.

Over the longer 400m course, the Porsche tripped the beam in 12.1 seconds at 188.5km/h, while the A45 S came in a blink later at 12.2 seconds with 185.2km/h showing on the VBOX.

One measure where the lighter Porsche did gap the A45 S was in pure braking power. While the AMG is clearly no 911, itís hard not to be impressed with this level of performance.

IN FOCUS

HATCH VERSUS HERO