VW Golf GTI TCR Vs. Hyundai i30 N Performance: Which One’s Faster On Track?

Two of the hottest front-wheel drive hatches in the market, the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and Hyundai i30 N Performance, were subjected to a timed lap to see which one is faster on a track by Germany’s SportAuto.

If you at the numbers, the balance tilts in favor of the German car, which at 290 PS (286 hp / 213 kW), is 15 PS (15 hp / 11 kW) more powerful than its Korean contender in the Performance grade. Both of them use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which is matched to a seven-speed DSG in the Golf GTI TCR and a six-speed manual transmission in the i30 N.

Also Watch: New i30 N Reviewed: Just How Hot Can A Hyundai Hatchback Be?

According to their respective manufacturers, hitting 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill takes 5.6 seconds in the Volkswagen and 6.1 seconds in the Hyundai. Top speed can be increased in the Golf GTI TCR from 250 km/h (155 mph) to 260 km/h (162 mph), while the i30 N Performance maxes out at 250 km/h (155 mph). Both tip the scales at under 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs), so you can already see where this is heading to.

The Golf GTI TCR holds the high ground. Its long heritage places it ahead of the i30 N in most key aspects, as Hyundai is very new to the hot hatch class. Thus, if you’re going to bet on which one’s quicker in a timed lap, then it should be on the Volkswagen. But are you willing to trust your petrol-head gut feelings? Only one way to find out.


  • Bash

    That’s not how I thought it will end. That’s N is a serious one. I’ve been always and only a golf guy when it comes to hot hatches. I might have to reconsider few things now!

  • and “industry” people said it would take 10 years for someone to catch the GTI .. Hyundai has done it in 2

  • Six_Tymes


    • Tabs Luther

      its coming!

    • bd0007

      A new 8 spd DCT is on it’s way and the i30N should also be getting a power bump w/ the new 2.5T.

      Chassis weight reduction will have to wait until the next gen platform (which likely will add AWD).

      • Matteo Tommasi

        The 2.5 isn’t coming. They need the 2.0L because of the WTCR.

    • chumaxa .

      Yes, cause what they need is to make it boring with a DSG.

  • Tabs Luther

    Considering the advantage in power to weight and that DSG, this is embarrassing for the VW. Most reviews put the TCR above the Golf r as a drivers car. + the Hyundai is HEAVY too (3300lbs). I still want one though, the veloster is too wackily configured for me to live with, although significantly lighter. (current mazdaspeed3 owner)

  • Alpina

    Surprisingly, what is the price difference?

  • David W

    Whoever is driving doesn’t seem to be very good – Multiple times he’s got the Golfs DSG in manual mode and is approaching the corner in the wrong gear then shifting it down mid corner as he exits and gets on the power super late. That’s insane…not even commenting on drivers lines, the shifting of the transmission is just the most obvious.

    Put them both in the hands of a real driver please.

  • Alpina

    Interesting question. On official Honda pages there is no more Type R to order but I recall it was somewhere near 53.000$-ish which makes it about 7.000$ more expensive than GTI (“only” DSG and 245 HP). I guess for full blown TCR version the difference would be minimal. On the second hand market a DEMO Type R today goes for 63.000$ with 10 km which is ridicilous.
    I will do comparison if I find time of main rivals (Megan RS, 308 GTi, Focus ST/RS, Leon Cupra). BMW, Merc and Audi wouldnt be included due to obvious reasons. Maybe next time author could provide those informations about rivals and prices 🙂

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