Can Chevrolet’s Bolt EV Beat A VW Golf GTI In A Drag Race?

The ‘green’ technology that is present in today’s electric cars, such as the Chevrolet Bolt, makes them not only emissions-free, but also capable of battling a hot hatch like Volkswagen Golf GTI on even terms in a straight line.

And this is not just a simple assumption, but a fact, after the two aforementioned vehicles were put through their paces by the guys at TFL.

Before checking out the actual race, let’s see some of the specs. The German hot hatch, which is in its pre-facelifted form, uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 207hp (210PS) and 258lb-ft (350Nm) of torque. At the opposite end, the quiet Chevy Bolt uses an electric powertrain that makes 200hp (203PS) and 266lb-ft (361Nm) of torque, with the latter being instantly available from zero rpm.

Thus, it’s obvious that electric vehicles have more than caught up – but don’t be so quick to write off the internal combustion engine, as automakers must fix some issues, like range anxiety, and show some progress with the necessary infrastructure before EVs become the new norm.

VIDEO

  • BIG FAN OF ELECTRIC BUT COMPARING THESE TWO CARS DOESN’T MAKE MUCH SENSE. THE VW IS A NICER LOOKING CAR THE INTERIOR ALONE HAS IT WINNING OVER CHEVY.

    • Jason Miller

      The point is that one is faster than the other in a straight line. Any car can be compared that way.

      • Me

        My takeaway was that a GTI with a manual transmission and a poor driver will lose to Bolt that only requires the driver to mash the pedal.

        Launching a manual well is really really difficult.

        If they redo that test with a new GTI equipped with DSG the story would be different. And of course, if they actually tracked the cars the lighter GTI would destroy the Bolt.

        BTW, i like both cars. Bolt may be my next daily driver.

        • Jason Miller

          “If they tracked the cars…”

          That wasn’t the point of this test though.

    • SteersUright

      NOT TO MENTION, IF YOU EXTEND THE RACE TO INCLUDE SOME CORNERS THEN THE BOLT WOULD HAVE LOOKED ENTIRELY OUT OF ITS ELEMENT AGAINST A GTI. STILL, ELECTRIC CARS HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM THE DAYS OF 10-SEC PRIUS’S (PRII?). I DECIDED TO RESPOND TO ANY OF YOUR COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS AS WELL, SINCE YOU CLEARLY WONT EVER TRY TO BE NORMAL. AT LEAST NOW THERE IS SOME CONSISTENCY IN RELATION TO THE ORIGINAL COMMENT AND ITS REPLIES. HAVE A GREAT CAPS LOCKED DAY.

      • Jason Miller

        Caps lock = off

        • SteersUright

          ACTUALLY, IF YOU READ IT ONCE AGAIN I THINK YOU’LL SEE THAT FOR ME AND MICHGO, CAPS LOCK MOST CERTAINLY = ON

  • Banesto Highland

    I’m impressed. I wouldn’t have expected this result. Good job Chevy.

  • Jason Miller

    I’ve ridden in a Bolt, it was pretty quick. I also couldn’t believe how cheap the interior was.

  • Bash

    Well, that was unexpected !!

  • LeStori

    Yawn. When you can fully recharge your Bolt in 10 minutes and it can do 250 miles minimum at 70 mph with the AC on then I might be impressed by its 0-60 time.

    • Few years more and we are there. On the other hand Bolt is not a GTI, it’s just a normal little hatch. Expect GTI-like electric hatches doing 4 seconds to 62 mph. ICE is history.

      • LeStori

        Might be history eventually, but I was saying I would be impressed but not buying.My current car can accelerate as fast as the Bolt, do over 360 miles at 70 mph without refilling and takes less than 10 minutes to refill at readily available filling stations.
        I can replace my petrol powered car with a faster car from the same manufacturer with even better fuel economy.

        Whilst ICE is on the way out, Electric is not exactly a comparable replacement even in the next few years. . Give 10 years at best before there is even sufficient infrastructure.

        • It’s the responsibility of decision makers to allow electric mobility to spread quicker. If back in the days the oil industry would not have killed the electric car (beginning of 20th century), then nowadays to introduce an ICE car would have sky high costs (opposite scenario). What people need to understand is that the boom in electric mobility is because the technology is plain simple, very few moving parts and servicing needed. ICE is too complicated and too inefficient. Hence we need governments to speed up this process, give incentives to buy, because until electric vehicles are mass produced (on a similar scale as ICE) they don’t have the chance to compete in price. Even though as I wrote the technology is much more simple. I hope it will be less than 10 years to reach this. Can’t wait to breath again in cities.

          • LeStori

            Even with Government incentives, infrastructure can take time and even government incentives can cause problems by distorting the market.Look at how Diesel was incentivised by Government and the problems it has caused in major European cities .
            Hence my statement it will probably take at least 10 years before many countrys have enough infrastructure for anyone other than relatively short distance commuters who can recharge at home overnight.

        • Jason Miller

          Electric cars have come a LONG way in the last 10 years. Who’s to say in the next 10-15 they won’t be where you want them to be?

      • Dennis James

        As long as the Li-Ion battery energy density is 15 times lower than that of the gasoline, ICE is not history. Even with a 30% efficiency versus 75% efficiency, the gasoline + ICE combination has over 5 times more range than Li-Ion + electric engine for the same weight. That’s a lot of catching up to do.

        • How do you calculate weight? Gasoline vs battery? Electric cars don’t have an engine and transmission as a start. A lot of weight saved, and the weight of the battery can be stored at the perfect location, under the floor. You can’t compare these things.

          The efficiency difference is way bigger:
          Battery to wheel efficiency: About 68%
          Tank to wheel efficiency: About 16%

          A large Tesla Model S is way more efficient than any comparable ICE car, the only problem is the cost. That’s why they build massive battery factories all over the world.

          Let alone that you can source energy for your car to move from solar panels, and you can’t do the same for ICE cars.

  • a_race_tothebottom

    This seems odd.. I looked up a bolt and it’s supposedly 0-60 in a hair under 7 seconds, while a stock GTI does it in a bit under 6…

    • Kenneth

      The way to attain maximum acceleration with a manual trans car is to get the drive wheels spinning with a raised-rev, drop-clutch start. Auto magazines may have no concerns about thrashing their test cars, again and again, but an actual owner (like the guy in this video) who has to pay for tires and driveline repairs may feel less enthusiastic about drop-clutch starts for someone’s video.

      • Status

        None of that manual trans launching stuff will matter anymore. It’s too much effort for no actual gain in the face of the precision and speed of an auto.

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