The premium hot hatch segment is now dominated by three cars: the BMW M135i xDrive, Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3. Unfortunately, the BMW is lagging behind both its rivals at the top end of the performance spectrum. The new top of the line 1 Series is now lagging behind its main rivals in terms of straight line performance and power output. BMW also says it won’t make a more powerful 1 Series because there’s just no market for it. So where does that leave us?

Well, it leaves us with the BMW M2 Competition. Price-wise the BMW M2 Competition is right up there next to the M135i xDrive. Sure, the M2 Competition is not a hot hatch but a coupe and but, in my book, that makes it even better. But does that mean the M2 should be viewed as a rival for the A45 AMG or the RS3? Not really.

Mercedes AMG A45 S 1 of 5 830x553

There are ample differences between them, especially if you leave the power output out of the equation. First of all, the BMW M2 Competition is rear-wheel drive and that means it should be a lot of fun on the track, more fun than the other two.

However, I heard the new Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG is quite an impressive car on the track, despite its front-wheel drive platform. In the meantime though, for most people, the only thing that will matter is the straight line performance.

BMWBLOG Podcast Episode 12 — We talk the End of a Decade and Front-Wheel Drive

In that department the A45 AMG has the edge. It has more power coming out of its 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine as well as all-wheel drive. On the other hand, the M2 Competition might be rear-wheel drive but it also comes with a 3-liter straight six mill and that might make all the difference in the world for some of us.

Let’s take a look at this video: