Not a proper drag race, but still very intriguing.

Mat Watson of Carwow is a very lucky man, getting to drive some of the fastest cars in the world. However, his recent comparison video raises an important question: How does the Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R compare to the latest Audi S3?

Most of you will know that both vehicles are very close on paper with similar performance numbers. Both come from the factory sporting turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines with the Audi cranking out 310 bhp (231 kilowatts) and the VW producing 320 bhp (239 kW). Each vehicle puts the power down via all-wheel-drive with the S3 contending with 295 pound-feet (400 newton-metres) of torque while the Golf R puts out 310 pound-feet (420 Nm). 

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R: Feature

Aside from the very similar performance figures, the Volkswagen was nearly half a second quicker in the sprint to 60 mph – 4.1 seconds compared to 4.5. Watson was visibly shocked after seeing such a staggering figure, and we were equally impressed. Unfortunately, the video doesn’t include a proper quarter-mile time, as the tests were conducted on public roads.

Quarter-mile disappointment aside, the brake test produced a slight role reversal with the VW stopping in 45 metres (148 feet) and the Audi stopping in 43 m (141 ft) – both tests were conducted at 70 mph (113 km/h). We’d love to have seen a 0-60-0 race between the two, but the testing environment didn’t allow for such an experiment.

Watson was torn between which hot hatch he’d rather have, but eventually decided on the Golf R. While both vehicles produced very similar performance, he said that the Volkswagen was much more fun to drive.