Mercedes A45 AMG versus VW Golf R
There are great B-roads the breadth of Britain. So we’re using the new VW Golf R and Merc A45 AMG to investigate some of them...
Posted: 16 May 2014
Both have double-clutch gearboxes, the Merc’s seven speeds outstripping the VW’s to the tune of one. Both have rear axles that are decoupled under light loads to improve efficiency, but while the AMG can only send a maximum of 50 per cent of torque rearwards, the R’s fifth-generation Haldex system can send everything to the back. Quite what sort of a mess you’d have to get yourself into for that to be the case I’m not sure, but it sounds good.
It’s certainly not a situation we happen across on the B1074 or B1136 (and to answer an inevitable question, yes, we did touch the occasional A-road. The only other way across the River Waveney on the Norfolk Broads would have been a boat). Norfolk, once outside of Lowestoft, turns out to be a genteel, pastoral place, a Constable painting come to life. The village of Seething seems ill-named, and the A45 strikes an incongruous sight. Blame the newly fitted rear wing. This does offset the visual weight of the nose, but – matched with black paint and wheels – appears capable of striking fear into the local populace, most of whom are of a Honda Jazz persuasion. The Golf is more acceptable – the body shape is more familiar, less contentious, the paintwork is Tory blue and the wheels shiny as a new pin. You could drive it while wearing a tie, and it wouldn’t be out of keeping. A tie-wearer driving the Merc would almost certainly have it wrapped around their head.