The Honda Civic Type R has long been the king of front-wheel drive hot hatches and as more and more of this market heads down the all-wheel drive route, the Type R shows no signs of giving up its crown.
However, there is a new VW Golf GTI model on the market which might just have what it takes to knock the Honda off its perch and establish itself as the front-wheel drive hot hatch to buy.
This new GTI, officially dubbed the VW Golf GTI TCR, only hit the market at the start of this year and sits at the top of the GTI range. While it is not as potent as the limited-edition Golf GTI Clubsport S which quickly sold out a couple years ago, it is still a very impressive piece of kit.
Does that mean it is good enough to take on the Honda Civic Type R? Autocar set about finding out with their latest track test.
Powering the Golf is a 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering up 286 hp at 5400 rpm and 6400 rpm and 280 lb-ft (380 Nm) of torque between 1950 and 5300 rpm. This engine is mated as standard to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels and helping launch the hot hatch to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a brisk 5.6 seconds and a 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed.
While these figures are impressive, it’s worth mentioning that they don’t quite match the Honda. In fact, the Honda pumps out 306 hp and 295 lb-ft (399 Nm) of torque from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder and much to the pleasure of driving enthusiasts, is sold exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
Which would you rather own?