Can the new kid teach the old dog some new tricks?

Let’s talk about downsizing. Nowadays, compact hatchbacks, especially if you live in Europe, have engines with a displacement, roughly, between 0.8 litres and, say, 2.0 litres. But the newer the model is, the smaller the engine it has - usually equipped with a turbocharger for a higher output and better efficiency. However, many customers complain that the new-era turbo motors are actually not more economical than their naturally aspirated predecessors. And, in some cases, that’s really true. But this time we will talk about speed, acceleration, and quarter-mile runs.

In their new drag race video, the folks over at Carwow are experimenting with the lineup. This time, they are putting against each other two Volkswagen models – a brand new Up! GTI versus a second-generation Golf GTI. Simply put, new-school versus old-school.

Up! your game

Interestingly, both cars have approximately the same power output – 115 bhp. The Up! GTI is motivated by a tiny 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with a turbocharger, while its grandfather uses a much larger 1.8-litre unit with no forced induction. Surprisingly, the much smaller Up! is actually the heavier car in this drag race.

The key factor here is probably the peak torque. The Up! GTI has nearly 25 percent more torque, which is available from significantly lower rpm. The newer car takes two wins from two runs, one from a standstill and one with a rolling start, and that seems to be a natural thing. The Golf GTI Mk2 did a very good job too, especially considering its age and outdated technologies under the bonnet.

So, the next time you are part of a downsizing discussion and happen to have old-school fans as opponents, don’t forget to remind them their Golf GTI MK2 is slower than a hot hatch with a 1.0-litre engine. It’s crazy, but it’s true.