Golf GTI loses drag race to UP! GTI and Polo GTI - but is all as it seems?

Can slow and steady ever win the race?

In Volkswagen’s latest challenge it certainly can.

The challenge sees Volkswagen pit the new Golf GTI, Polo GTI and UP! GTI against one another in a drag race. But there’s a catch. The winner of this race is the car that accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) the slowest. Here’s the rules:

The drivers must start at the same time and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h as slowly as possible. The drivers must accelerate constantly – they are not allowed to reduce engine speed, brake or maintain speed. They can approach the test in any way they like so long as those rules aren’t broken. Interesting, right?

So, here’s the thing – in a straight out drag race, the natural order would come to fruition here (in this case, the natural order being power graphs and where each model sits in VW’s line up). The Volkswagen Golf would win, followed by the Polo in second place and the UP! some way behind in third. That expectation is normal because we’ve seen it all before. Drag races like this are a spark plug a dozen and predictable.

This one isn’t. So, who do you think will come first?

Watch it for yourself:

The test starts on the count and after just a few seconds, it quickly becomes clear that ANY throttle input has a catastrophic effect on speed. The slightest heaviness underfoot causes each car to leap ahead of the other or claw back lost ground. Ordinarily that would be a good thing, but not in a test where slow and steady wins the race!

What we’re left with after 30 seconds is a two-horse race, because the Volkswagen Golf GTI reaches 62mph after just half the distance has been covered. It’s then up to the Polo GTI and UP! GTI to battle it out. Both drivers do a great job but ultimately the UP! GTI gets there faster, so the Polo GTI wins the race.

The time for the Polo GTI was an agonisingly slow 2:57:05. The official 0-62mph time is 6.7 seconds, some way faster than the winning time.

New GTI models

The new Volkswagen Polo GTI has the same 0-62mph time as the MK5 Golf GTI, which is one of the most popular high-performance used Volkswagen Golf bargains. It’s the fastest production Polo GTI ever, beating the 6R’s 6.9 second 0-62mph time (incidentally, the most popular used Volkswagen Polo GTI is the 6R with the 1.4 TSI engine).

The UP! GTI is the slowest GTI available today, but it’s perhaps the most characterful with a buzzy 1.0 TSI three-cylinder engine and short wheelbase.

These translate to nippy performance and go-kart handling. The peppy little UP! more than holds its own on a country road too, although the bigger engines of the Polo and Golf GTI offer more performance out of corners and on the straights. But that’s to be expected and isn’t an insult to the UP! GTI. It’s a cracking little car.

If you feel inspired to look at what used VW Golfs or used VW Polos are available then you can find them at this VW dealer.


RELATED POSTS

All-new 2014 Toyota Aygo debuts in Geneva, joins Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1
Volvo Flywheel KERS technology promises fuel savings of up to 25 per cent
2015 BMW X6 spied less disguised in Southern Germany
Six-millionth Audi with quattro all-wheel drive rolls off the assembly line
1962 Ferrari 250 GTO auctioned for a record breaking $38M (£22M) [VIDEO]
Xcar takes a closer look at Renovo Coupe: America's first electric supercar [VIDEO]
Range Rover Evoque SW1 Special Editions revealed - inspired by the Union Flag
New Ford Focus RS arrives with all-wheel drive and over 315bhp
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and 911 Targa 4 with turbocharged engines and new all-wheel drive revealed
Audi RS 3 Saloon with 400 hp debuts in Paris
New Ford F-150 Raptor 'Super Truck' arrives in the UK
Each McLaren Speedtail will be like no other
Tags: