While new electric vehicles are coming thick and fast, there are still heaps of driver-focused ICE performance cars on the market and they come in all shapes and sizes. In the compact category, for instance, you can get your kicks by choosing the BMW M2 CS, the Audi RS3, or the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S.
Sure, these cars are out of the price range of many people, but they all deliver excellent performance. CarWow recently pitted them against each other to see which is the quickest.
As standard, it is the M2 CS that has the advantage over the other two. Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six is good for 444 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque and is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels.
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The Mercedes-AMG A45 S has the smallest engine of the bunch, in the form of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 415 hp and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. It is also all-wheel drive and has an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
As for the Audi RS3 tested, it is actually a 2016 model and has been equipped with some modifications so it now produces 450 hp and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque.
Off the line, it comes as no surprise that the all-wheel drive Audi and Mercedes-AMG have the advantage. However, as the speeds start to increase, the BMW claws its way back and speeds past the Mercedes-AMG and is only narrowly defeated by the tuned Audi, while in a rolling drag race, the M2 CS easily defeated both the RS3 and the A 45 S.