Naturally, we took out two of the faster hot hatches in town to see which was better overall. So where is the A 45 AMG we hear you ask? Unfortunately, it was not available to us when we wanted to take it out for the test.
For those who have yet to read our review, it can be found here. Meanwhile, here are a couple of unpublished photos that were not in the review...
Audi S3 Sportback. The fastest A3 you can buy now till the RS3 comes (if there is going to be one). I personally like the base 1.4 TFSI version a lot, so I was expecting this S3 to be just as polished. Thankfully, it did not disappoint. With quattro channeling 276 horses to all four wheels, it provides plentiful thrust. Anywhere.
The standard S-tronic gearbox is quick acting when you are in the mood and smooth enough when trundling through town. Amazingly, BMW's eight-speed automatic is just as good. How about the ride? Slightly more firm than the Beemer. Nothing bad because this means you get tight body control in the twisties. One would also notice the steering weighting up nicely as you wind the lock on.
BMW M135i. It has been more than a year since we tested it. In the automotive world, one year is pretty long and even so, I am not sure if I have warmed up to the 1 Series's face. Thankfully, you can actually do a facelift on your own. But let's not harbour on that and focus on what BMWs are known for, the drive.
If you thought the Audi was fast, the BMW is even faster. With two more cylinders and one more litre, it shades the S3 in terms of sound and creaminess. Turbo lag is less pronounced than the S3 too. Riding softer than the S3, it soaks up bumps more willingly and I think this will makes the M135i a good compainon on fast NSHW blasts.
Fear not, this does not mean that the M135i is not a driver's car. With good weight distribution and power going to the rear only, powerslides are easy to achieve if you are feeling naughty. Quick steering (slightly too heavy in Sport) help to give the car an impression that it is one agile hatch. It really is.