Features

Volkswagen Golf R vs GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300: Track Battle video

Watch as some of the Volkswagen Group’s leading hot hatches go head-to-head, on track and against the clock. There can only be one winner...

A trio of hot hatches that share an engine, platform and parent company - which is fastest around a track? Time to put this sibling rivalry to bed.

The new Volkswagen Golf R packs a serious punch. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot puts out 316bhp, and the chassis is more playful than ever - a torque-vectoring rear differential can send up to 100% of drive to the outside rear wheel, and there's even a Drift Mode. On paper, then, it should be the most potent hot hatch from the VW Group, but the Golf GTI Clubsport is here to cause an upset. 

With a 20bhp deficit and front-wheel drive, the odds are against the Clubsport overthrowing the R. However, it has shed 90kg by dropping the four-wheel drive gubbins of its sibling, which might pay dividends around the technical Llandow Circuit. An electronically controlled limited-slip differential should also help drag the car out of the critical low-speed turns.

And what about the 296bhp Cupra Leon 300, which undercuts both VWs on price? Mechanically, it’s closest to the GTI Clubsport - its EA888 engine is in the same state of tune, and it powers the front wheels alone. Equipped with an incisive DSG ‘box, just as in the other two cars, the Cupra launches from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. It carries a 29kg weight penalty over the GTI Clubsport, which allows the VW to shave 0.1 seconds from that time. 

So the scene is set, now which sets the quickest lap time? Join Steve Sutcliffe at the helm in this video to find out...

Recommended

New Nissan Ariya 2022 review
Nissan Ariya - front
Road tests

New Nissan Ariya 2022 review

Nissan is looking to reestablish its electric car credentials with the new Ariya and rivals should be worried
30 Jun 2022
New Toyota Aygo X 2022 review
Toyota Aygo X - front
Road tests

New Toyota Aygo X 2022 review

An SUV-inspired makeover sets the latest Aygo apart from its city car rivals, but has it got the X-factor?
27 Jun 2022
New Range Rover Sport to make public debut on 23 June
Range Rover Sport - front
Land Rover Range Rover Sport

New Range Rover Sport to make public debut on 23 June

Goodwood’s Festival of Speed will see the latest Range Rover Sport roar up the famous hill climb
15 Jun 2022
New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k
Ora Cat 01 - front
Electric cars

New Ora Funky Cat electric car is out of the bag in Britain from £30k

The high-spec Ora Funky Cat First Edition lands with plenty of kit, but cheaper versions and long-range model also planned
27 May 2022

Most Popular

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range
New MG 4 2023
News

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range

The all-electric MG 4 hatchback rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and introduces MG’s new MSP electric platform
28 Jun 2022
New Honda Civic 2022 review
Honda Civic - front
Road tests

New Honda Civic 2022 review

The all-new hybrid Honda Civic has finally arrived, but what’s like from behind the wheel? We find out…
28 Jun 2022
New 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 6 enters as sleek all-electric saloon
Hyundai Ioniq 6 - front
News

New 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 6 enters as sleek all-electric saloon

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 is the follow-up to the game-changing Ioniq 5 and packages the same EV technology into a streamlined shape
28 Jun 2022