Battle of the Badasses: GLA45 AMG vs. Audi RS3 Drag Race

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The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA45 and Audi RS3 are small, strong and superlative. Why can’t these two just get along?

While Mercedes-Benz’s GLA may be their bargain-priced entry-level model, the GLA45 AMG is no slouch, performance wise. In the same class and a similar price point lies Audi’s pint-sized, potent RS3. So who would win in a drag race of the German entry-level luxury all-stars? Let’s find out!

In this video from South Africa’s Cars.co.za on YouTube, the Audi RS3 is stacked up against a GLA45 AMG. While both cars seem similar performance-wise on paper, it’s plain to see from the tale of the tape that they couldn’t be more different. In a 300-meter drag race—that’s about three quarters of the length of a standard drag race—the Audi RS3 simply walks away from the GLA and never looks back.

Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG vs. Audi RS3

At the trap, it looks like the Audi has a solid two car lengths on the Mercedes, with the blue flash (Audi) passing a considerable amount of time before the white flash (Benz). Nearly a full second, in fact: 10.1 seconds versus 10.9 seconds. That’s hardly what we’d call a photo finish.

Even though the Audi RS3 seemed to leave the GLA45 AMG in the dust, repeated viewing of the footage shows that they both left the starting gate at the exact same time. While the Audi took an early lead that it never gave up, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s a mere tenth of a second faster to 60 MPH (4.1 seconds in the RS3; 4.2 seconds in the GLA45 AMG).

When you boil the performance of two cars down to a 300-meter sprint, any performance deficiency will seem magnified. While the Audi’s clearly faster, it is pretty evenly matched with the AMG overall. There’s some solace for GLA45 owners who intend to use their performance crossover/hot hatch as intended, though. Audi currently has no plans to sell the RS3 Sportback in the U.S. If you’ve got dogs, a drum set, or antiques that need to get somewhere quickly, Mercedes-Benz AMG has you covered.

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Cam Vanderhorst is a contributor to Harley-Davidson Forums, Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and MB World. He is also a co-host of the Cammed & Tubbed podcast.

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