Mercedes-AMG A45 S v BMW M8 Competition Coupe
A David versus Goliath contest with a surprising outcome
Over the years, BMW has always set the benchmark by which other performance cars have been measured. Cars have often been benchmarked relative to the M3 for instance, and the latest beast to be unleashed by the Bavarians is no different.
With the same power plant as the mighty M5 Competition, we knew that the M8 Competition Coupe was going to be quick. But I don’t think many anticipated it would be ‘this quick’. Since its launch last year, it’s been the yardstick for drag race performance, and thanks to its phenomenal off-the-line antics, it has catapulted the M8 Competition into genuine supercar performance league.
Notwithstanding that it has thundering twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 that produces 460kw and 750nm; the BMW M8 Competition features the very latest version of BMW’s quasi-rear-wheel-quasi-all-wheel-drive system. Much like the M5 sedan, it can switch between its default all-wheel-drive mode to a rear-wheel-drive mode, should the drive want to push the limits of adhesion. The M8 Competition might be seriously quick, but it also seriously expensive, with the big coupe carrying a sticker price of R3 300 272 – before a single option has been added.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s the world’s most powerful series-production four-cylinder motor. We are of course referring to the turbocharged 2.0-litre that powers the latest Mercedes-AMG A45, and in S-guise produces an incredible 310kw and 500nm. Like its predecessor, it features Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, but now, it has been tweaked to include a drift mode. Whilst not a cheap machine, it is arguably the most amount of fun you can buy for R1 067 840.
And while outright performance specs might paint a very grim – and somewhat vexing - picture, this performance test by the UK’s Carwow, shows that the A45 S is indeed a fantastic performer, for a compact car.