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Pitting the 310 horsepower Honda Civic Type-R against the 381 horsepower Mercedes A45 AMG might seem like a no contest win for the Mercedes. Its advantages over the Civic are pretty clear beyond sheer power: the A45 has a dual clutch gearbox and launch controls, where the Type-R has a regular manual transmission and FWD which make a dead heat pretty moot. But just how far behind will the A45 leave the Civic once they’re off the starting line?

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