Who makes the fastest hot hatch BMW M or Mercedes-AMG?

In the world of luxurious hot hatchbacks, the Mercedes-AMG A35 and BMW M135i are some of the best of the breed. These turbocharged AWD rockets represent the most affordable performance products from BMW and Mercedes, but which one is faster in a drag race? 

Before we discuss race results, let’s meet our competitors. First, we have the brand new Mercedes-AMG A35 which represents the most affordable AMG product on sale today. Thanks to a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the A35 AMG pumps out a respectable 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The A35 AMG slots below the more powerful A45 AMG, which produces 100 more horsepower, and offers more aggressive performance features. 

Gallery: BMW M135i, Mercedes-AMG A35 Drag Race For Hot Hatch Supremacy

The A35 AMG routes its power through Mercedes-AMG’s 4Matic+ All wheel drive system and an AMG tuned 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. This front-wheel-drive biased system can send 50% of the available torque rearward and helps the hot hatch achieve a blistering 4.6 second 0 to 60 time.

The latest generation BMW M135i traded in its rear-wheel-drive layout in favor of a more traditional hot hatchback all-wheel-drive layout. The M135i’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 306 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque, which is very competitive among the segment. Power is routed through an 8-speed automatic transmission and BMW’s X-Drive all-wheel-drive system, which helps the BMW hatch sprint from 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds.

Based on power figures alone, the BMW M135i and Mercedes A35 AMG are very well matched. With similar engines, drivetrains, and performance figures a drag race between these two hot hatches should be razor-thin. 

On track with cars, this evenly matched it all comes down to reaction time. In this case, the Mercedes was able to get off the line a little quicker and stay ahead of the M135i for the duration of the drag race.