Volkswagen Golf GTI vs Renault Megane RS video review

Can the Volkswagen Golf GTI with the Performance Pack beat the excellent Renault Megane RS Cup?

Volkswagen Golf vs Renault Megane RS video

The Volkswagen Golf GTI and Renaultsport Megane are two very different hot hatches. The French machine is all about uncompromised performance, whereas the German hatch is much more of an all-rounder. But does this mean the Renault Megane RS Cup will always be faster on a racetrack?

Volkswagen Golf GTI review

Renault Megane RS 265 review

Well, that's not necessarily true. The Golf GTI in our video has been fitted with the Performance Pack, getting bigger brakes, a power upgrade to take the 2.0-litre engine up to 230bhp and a very clever electronic front differential.

The Renault Megane RS Cup has a traditional limited-slip diff, but also has a 2.0-litre turbo engine. However the Renault has 265bhp - 35 more than the Golf.

For several years Renaultsport has been the 'master-craftsman' of the hot hatch trade. It's getting a bit long in the tooth but the Cup Megane is the best car Renault makes. But what's it like on track? Is it going to be quick enough to take on the new Golf GTI with the Performance Pack? You can find out in the video above.

We're driving the car with the stability control turned off, which is what gives this car a big advantage on the track - when it's off, it is off. Plus, there's an instant liveliness to the Megane chassis, at the rear end.

The Renault completed the flying lap in 1 minute 14.3 seconds. Can the lower-powered and easier to live with Golf get anywhere near that mark?

There's no question that the Golf GTI is the most desirable hot hatch you can buy, but there has always been two camps in the hot hatch market: those who want the all-rounder (which is the GTI) and those who want the hardcore, ultimate track car (which arguably is the Renaultsport Megane).

The question is whether this GTI with the Performance Pack and a manual gearbox can outperform the Renault Megane. It's a shame you can't turn off the stability control because it starts to come into play and that contributes to the brakes getting hot and just takes away that final edge of freedom you need to make this car fully engaging like the Renault.

The Golf GTI performance pack completed the flying lap in 1 minute 15.6 seconds. In the end the Golf GTI Performance Pack was 1.3 seconds a lap slower than the Megane RS Cup, so even though VW has added extra performance to the car, if it's quick laps you're after, the Renaultsport Megane is still number one.

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