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.
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.