It’s the war of the sports cars this time around in our spec comparo. It is a three way fight between two Germans and one American. On the European side we have the Audi TT and the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, both modern interpretations of their parents company’s small and fun to drive cars. From across the big pond is an iconic machine steeped in Americana. Yes, we are talking about the Ford Mustang, a car steeped in American motoring lore and now available in India for the first time and that too in RHD. They fit the perfect descriptions of sports cars and offer the fun but just how close are they and what would make you select each unique car? Read on to find out.
When we talk about sports cars like this trio, appearance plays an important part as it is one of the first things that will attract you to the car. Each of these cars have their unique traits, the Audi TT is small and unique looking and evokes reactions similar to what one must have felt when looking at the original Sport Quattro from the 1980s. The CLA45 AMG is a very good example of automakers replicating designs across models and adjusting the sizes to meet the segments. Ford’s Mustang is the most unique looking of the three thanks to its 50 year heritage. It embodies all the traits of the classic American car and would be the one that would stand out the most in a crowd.
In terms of pure measurements, the TT is the smallest at 4.1 metres while the CLA45 and the Mustang are closely matched at 4.69 metres and 4.78 metres. The Merc may be the smallest in terms of width but it also has the lowest drag coefficient of 0.23 as compared to the Audi’s 0.30 and the Mustang’s 0.32.
At the outset of this section we can say that the basics like climate control, touchscreen infotainment system and fancy seats are all a given in this part of the market. The Audi is the only two-seater in the lineup while the Mustang and CLA45 offer seating for two at the rear but it would be a bit of squeeze for any large person to sit in the back.
Now sports cars like this trio are all about providing the right driving experience and accordingly it is worthy to talk about all the things that will put a smile on the face of the driver when he/she mashes the throttle. ABS with EBD, hill hold function, LSD and an ESP are standard for all the models but only the CLA45 and TT are offered with AWD. The Mustang, thanks to its traditional appeal, is only available in the RWD setup. While this may seem like a disadvantage, it does let you have a more ‘free spirited’ driving experience as compared to the other two.
Engine and gearbox
The Audi TT is offered with a supercharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 227bhp and 370Nm of torque while the CLA45’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot motor produces 335bhp and 450Nm. Power and torque are channelled through to all four wheels via a six-speed AT in the TT and a seven-speed dual clutch unit in the Mercedes-Benz.
It is a whole different story for the Mustang as it offered with a 5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 motor which in theory should have a massive output due to its size. However, the reality is a bit different as it produces 396bhp and 515Nm of torque. This is due to the age of the design as well as the quality of the fuel offered in India. The gearbox option is a six-speed AT that sends power to the rear wheels. It is still very powerful and make quite a beautiful noise.
Prices (ex-showroom Delhi)
It is odd to imagine a price war for vehicles in this part of the market but if you look at the digits, the fight is pretty close. The Audi TT is the lowest priced at Rs 63.45 lakh. It is followed by the Mustang which is priced at Rs 65 lakh while the CLA45 AMG is the most expensive of the lot at Rs 70.90 lakh. This, like we said at the start, is down to what appeals to the customer when he/she is looking to splurge on a sports car.