Image: YouTube.
Image: YouTube.
A 45 AMG (W 176) 2012
A 45 AMG (W 176) 2012
Audi's RS3 Sportback features 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder turbopetrol motor.
Audi's RS3 Sportback features 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder turbopetrol motor.

The recent launch of the Mercedes-AMG C63 in South Africa shone the spotlight brightly on the midsized sports-sedan league, and everyone with a Vbox, including ourselves, has pitted the mighty Merc against its arch-rival the BMW M3

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But slightly lower down in the high-performance ranks there’s a clash of the lesser German titans looming, with both the new BMW M2 coupé and Audi RS3 Sportback headed for South Africa in the coming months to take on the all-conquering Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG hatch.

BMW’s smallest M car, the M2, is getting ever closer to reality and recent spy pics of near-production versions suggest that it’s likely to make its official debut at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

BMW has yet to confirm output figures but it’s safe to assume that Munich’s mightiest 2 Series will be pitched against the 265kW A45 AMG of arch-rival Mercedes. Speculation points to M2 numbers between 270 and 280kW, probably using a tuned version of the 240kW straight-six 3-litre turbo used in the existing BMW M235i.

This should give the Beemer a 0-100km/h time of under 4.5 seconds, laid down via rear-wheel-drive.

Spy pics indicate that upgrades will include wider fenders and tyres, with beefier bumpers, while the corner-carving package will comprise M-tweaked suspension and stability-control calibration, and probably a mechanical limited-slip rear differential too.

South Africa will get the M2 next year although BMW hasn’t confirmed which month.

AUDI’S FIVE-POT POTENCY

Completing the German uber-hatch trio will be the all-new Audi RS3 Sportback, which was launched in Germany in April and is expected in SA late this year. Boasting the hottest five-cylinder production engine yet to come out of Ingolstadt, the 2.5 turbo will pack 270kW and 465Nm.

Like the A45, the RS3 lays down the law with all-wheel-drive and the extra traction makes it scoot from rest to 100km/h in a claimed 4.3 seconds.

With its maximum power on tap at 6800rpm it promises a more visceral high-revving experience than the A45 which hits its kiloWatt peak at 6000rpm (we’re still in the dark about the M2’s revvability).

MERC TO UP ITS GAME

But lest we thought Mercedes was resting on its laurels, a revamped A45 AMG with power in the 2-litre four-cylinder turbo upped to 280kW and 475Nm (from 265kW and 450Nm) will be launched in South Africa early next year.

It’ll hit a hundred from standstill in a claimed 4.2 seconds – 0.4secs quicker than the previous model. The A45 AMG will also for the first time get the availability of two-mode adaptive suspension.

We can’t wait for the games to begin.

Star Motoring