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Mercedes A 45 AMG and Audi TT RS Plus in comparison: compact sports car meets sports coupé

Achim Hartmann
Mercedes A 45 AMG and Audi TT RS Plus in comparison
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Z sometimes our comparison drives lead through regions in which an encounter with a black driverless carriage pulled at a full gallop by six mighty horses would not come as a surprise. Right now the autumn haze is swallowing the Mercedes A 45 AMG, whose matt gray paint is like a camouflage color on this day.

Mercedes A 45 AMG clicks when changing gears

And as much as the Audi TT RS Plus behind it with its five-cylinder turbo engine thuds and hisses - it does not drown out the peppery exhaust snapping of the Mercedes A 45 AMG when changing gears, it penetrates even the thickest haze in the darkest forest. In fact, both candidates are among the automotive luminaries, just with their stimulating combination of compact bodies and powerful engines they brighten up the gloomy everyday life.

The Mercedes sports department is pushing the limits of a two-liter four-cylinder, grafting a powerful charger (twin-scroll principle) onto it, which works with a pressure of up to 1.8 bar. The result: 360 hp and a maximum torque of 450 Newton meters, which due to the concept is only available at a comparatively late 2,250 revolutions. The Audi TT RS Plus, on the other hand, distributes the same power over five cylinders and 2.5 liters displacement, so a milder boost pressure (1.3 bar) is sufficient - and the direct injection engine releases the torque of 465 Nm at 1,650 rpm.

The Audi TT RS Plus shows this advantage right away when measuring the acceleration, because the shorter first gear of its dual clutch transmission does not help the Mercedes A 45 AMG either. Even when sprinting from zero to 100 km /h, the coupé takes 4.1 seconds off the four-door car by five tenths. But why stop now? Up to 200 km /h, the lead of the Audi TT RS Plus increases to 2.8 seconds, not least because the Mercedes A 45 AMG carries 66 kilograms more with it.

Mercedes A 45 AMG better in the 18-meter slalom

Otherwise, the pounds are hardly noticeable, the Mercedes A is already driving in the 18-meter slalom 45 AMG a small lead. He steers in a bit sharper, and the rear works bravely. The steering knuckles and bearings at the front, which are more rigid than the base, and the one at the rear axle that are rigidly instead of elastically connected to the bodySubframes in conjunction with the optional 19-inch wheels help the Mercedes A 45 AMG to handle a bustle - sometimes even a little too bustling. While in the slalom the courageous turning helps to a good average speed, when changing direction it becomes at high speed like in auto motor und sport -Wedel course ticklish.

Far beyond 130 km /h, the load-changing Mercedes rear end has to be strictly captured by the ESP. Now please don't go pale straight away: The electronics work brilliantly, but there is a brief moment of shock - and that costs points in driving safety. This is exactly what makes the Mercedes A 45 AMG so attractive on twirling country roads. There it can be circled around the curves with a slight luff, and it appears very direct, stiff and solid.

The electromechanical steering of the Mercedes A 45 AMG responds wide-awake, does not become artificially varying ratios. And the traction? So that it doesn't get even more foggy, an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch based on the Haldex principle transfers a maximum of 50 percent of the power to the rear axle. That relieves the accelerator from having to search for brains, and of course the same applies to the all-wheel drive Audi TT RS PLUS.

Different character of the Audi TT RS Plus

In terms of character, the Audi TT RS Plus differs quite significantly from the Mercedes A 45 AMG, it drives comparatively predictably, although the chassis construction does not differ significantly from that of the Mercedes. The neutral to understeering coordination also results in a different characteristic of the ESP.

So the coupé may not offer the thrill that many customers in this segment are looking for. However, it has the talent to be unconditionally fast under all circumstances - even on the racetrack. During a trip to the small circuit in Hockenheim, the sizzling acoustic fire of the five-cylinder fills the Motodrom - but a fiery handling? Rather not. Through the south curve, for example, the Audi TT RS Plus pushes heavily understeer under load and demands slower corner entry speeds - in order to really explode at the exit. So he pulls out a slight lead of two tenths of a second.

A little more licentiousness would be justifiable, since the well-coordinated steering offers a little more feedback and enables precise reactions. The deep and hoarse grumbling 2.5-liter engine reacts willingly to gas pedal commands, but lives mainly from its pulling power. The ease of turning is not one of its strengths, but its magnificent appearance with the cylinder head in red shrink varnish is.

Mercedes A 45 AMG with performance seats including variable backrest widths

Audi is actually therethe TT, which has been available since 2006, is still carefully assembled - and that is expensive. Another point of criticism: the somewhat too fluffed, little lateral support sports seats. The optional bucket seats help the driver to cope with high lateral forces much more effectively.

AMG prefers to equip the test car with the so-called performance seats with variable backrest widths. They integrate the Mercedes A 45 driver deep into the cockpit and skillfully support him in fast corners. And compared to the Audi Coupé, the narrow and hollow Mercedes A-Class for a four-door model can finally win the body chapter in a comparison test. Otherwise, the somewhat less clearly readable round instruments and the not so detailed furnishings of the Mercedes A 45 AMG are noticeable. Exception: the really massive and conveniently large shift paddles.

On top of that, Mercedes has meanwhile also got the double clutch transmission under control, with regard to reaction and shift times there is no difference to the Audi TT RS Plus. In addition, there is this wonderfully indecent popping - or rather popping - when changing gears. In general, the Mercedes A 45 AMG thunders out of its flap-controlled exhaust system in a rather monstrous manner, while the somewhat less responsive engine itself roars typically four-cylinder.

In the end, the Mercedes A 45 AMG owes its victory primarily to the lower cost level, which scores points also with everyday suitability, snappy brakes and subjective driving pleasure. And thanks to its thunderstorm sound, the Mercedes A 45 AMG does not have to fear encountering a driverless ghost coach.

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