Hot hatchbacks these days cost a dime a dozen. But I think we can all agree that the Volkswagen Golf R is one of those at the top. The top-of-the-range VW Golf is not to be sneezed at, as is its slightly detuned and more affordable Spanish cousin, the Cupra Leon.
Between VAG’s two hot hatches, which one do you think will win a straight-line race? Despite the shared fundamentals, there are differences between the two. One is a bit more powerful but heavier, while the other sticks to a front-wheel drive setup.
To demonstrate their differences, Carwow places the two five-doors in the usual comparison of the British chain’s drag races.
Before we watch the video, let’s first compare the numbers. The 2022 VW Golf R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 315 horsepower (235 kilowatts) and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque. These numbers are sent to all four wheels, which is already an advantage in a straight line duel.
On the other hand, the Cupra Leon uses the slightly less powerful version of the same engine, now developing 296 hp (221 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque.
The Golf R may be more powerful and has the advantage of better traction, but it is also heavier. In fact, it tips the scales at 3,417 pounds (1,550 kilograms) – noticeably more meaty than the 3,075-pound (1395 kg) Cupra Leon. The difference in weight is equal to two people of average height sitting inside the Spanish sedan.
Does the Golf R’s power and traction advantage immediately give it the victory for this race? Or does the Cupra’s lighter overall weight use up a fighting chance? The video at the top of this page shows the results and give us your feedback in the comments section below.