That is until the new a 45 hyper hatch arrives. Now things have moved on from the early days of hot hatch: legends like the mark 1, Volkswagen Golf GTI back, then power didn't, even dip into triple digits. Whereas here we have a 300 horsepower. Turbocharged all wheel, drive, weaponized shopping, trolley in bright, yellow and so performance is being dialed up and, as you can probably tell, the fun has been dialed up, but then so is the price. The AMG a 35 starts from 69 thousand three hundred dollars before options and on road costs. Throwing the Aero kit, which I love a bit of extra tech and those cool 19 inch wheels and it tips the car into the luxury car tax threshold, which means it going to be spending over eighty thousand dollars in no time now. That'S pretty spendy, especially when you consider the mercedes benz a class starts from just under forty four thousand dollars now. Thirty five is cool and it is fast and it is very good, but is there an option for you if you want a hot hatch with the rocketship stats, but without the moon landing budget? Well, yes, and it might not be what you think, Applause Music. This is the MINI Clubman John Cooper Works, yep a mini hot hatch wagon. Now the Clubman isn't new, this model launched back in 2014, but for 2020 the JCW model has received a significant upgrade to its engine. Our significant 30 increase in power and a 40 increase in torque pretty significant and that power increase puts it right up in the upper echelons of hot hatch, wagon territory and certainly worthy of a closer look Music.
All right, I know I know and AMG versus a mini – is not really a standard comparison, especially when you consider the JCW starts at fifty seven thousand nine hundred before options and on road costs, but take a listen to these specs and it might just change your Mind both cars feature a two liter four cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 225 kilowatts or 300 horsepower apiece. The Mercedes has four hundred Newton meters to the minis 450. The 8 speed automatic transmission over here is played by a 7 speed, dual clutch in the Mercedes, which does give it the advantage by 210, naught to 100 being 4.7 seconds. Now. They are both all wheel, drive with a front drive bias, but the mini does have a front locking diff. Then, despite the six door wagon style body, both cars have a near identical footprint, with cargo volumes actually being about line ball. But perhaps the most important and telling feature here is that the mini is 50 kilograms, lighter giving it a power to weight ratio advantage. Sounds like we've got an interesting battle on our hands. To put these micromachines to the test, we've come to Bryant Park Hill, Climb track about 90 minutes east of Melbourne. The circuit affectionately known as Haunted Hills is approximately 1.4 kilometers long with plenty of bends and elevation changes. It'S, the perfect environment for these highly strung hot hatches Music. Now as soon as you step into the AMG, you can see where much of that price difference is gone.
The twin LED screens and even a touchscreen here make this feel like the shuttle from the enterprise. The attention to detail from the heat events and lighting and all of the switchgear is second to none. The AMG feels like it was born to be on a track like this there's. A stack of power and the gear change is a fast and sharp. Now I've kept traction control on, but it does let you push very hard and it seems to know what I'm trying to do. The sport seats hold you in nicely and I can feel I get a bit quicker each lap as I start to understand the car. Even more now, when you drive a mini, you drive a mini the round dials and the huge round centre gauge mean that this car is like nothing else, but it's what you choose and if a bit of style Kitsch isn't your thing, then I won't even mention The Union Jack taillights, hitting the start switch, is never not cool though, and we won't be needing Gary. The economy, fish sport mode, it is the mini, is certainly quick and tips in really well. You can feel the rear, rotate under heavy braking and here's. A lot of fun now I'm, not quite as snug as in the Mercedes, and I can feel the gearbox and traction control are perhaps in limiting me from being as fast as possible for that noise and the AMG sounds aggressive.
This just sounds fantastic, but rather than measure outright performance in tents, let's try something a little more interesting, a game of cat and mouse. A mouse will be played by the AMG a35, which will get a head start over our jcw cat now, here, we'll be able to see where the AMG can pull ahead and perhaps where the mini might be able to gain some ground and I've got to say Even I'm curious about what's going to happen Music now I don't actually know what's going to happen here. They'Re both pretty good on track in different ways and while the Mercedes is arguably more focused, the lighter weight might actually give me a chance, but I don't know and I'll guess we'll find out. Okay well help. My traction control is already kicking in and while I could see the Merc down there, I don't really know if I'm gon na be picking up anything on him see. I reckon this on the straight see it's through here the twistiest part of the track, where the Mercedes are starting to pull away of me, but what I'm not losing any grand okay, Music and I'm breaking through here, I'm? Actually picking him up on the straights they're. All I think I think, I'm trying pretty bloody hard. I got ta show you regardless. I think the winner here today is fun. Here we go Music off the breaks over the crest. Tell you what, if you haven't, driven this track.
That is one scary sector, where I can feel that this thing is picking up on him is through the Straits, there's, definitely chance where I'm reeling him in when this car gets to stretch its legs. This gear box is really where this car is let down that they see. Tell you the Merc is a really really nice little unit, whereas here we go so come on, MIDI go go, go Music. This is where I get it. Look at that really giving really you mean Laughter Music. Well, we have had a lot of fun here today, but we've also seen why the AMG a 35 is the current reigning hot hatch, champion from that amazing tech and fantastic interior through to that thoroughly sorted engine and driveline. It really is an excellent car and in terms of what we've been doing here today, is certainly the more focused hot hatch, but the JCW mini really gave it a run for its money, particularly on the straights out here, where the added torque and lighter weight really Came into play now the meaning may not have the technical sophistication of the Mercedes it's much more affordable than the Mercedes as well, and provides a very potent and formidable package when it comes to performance in the hot hatch, a wagon II segment, the little mini clubman. John cooper works for more information about the Mercedes AMG, a 35 or MINI Clubman John Cooper Works check out all the information on our advice, calm and don't forget to hit the subscribe button to stay up to date with all our new videos plus.