The Volkswagen Golf GTI is an icon for all the right reasons, offering affordable performance in a practical package. But you can get excellent performance out of many vehicles today, including the GTI’s stablemate – the Amarok pickup. The truck is practical, and a tuned powertrain puts it in the same performance ballpark as the GTI. A new video from the Motor YouTube channel shows just how close the two are in a series of drag races.

The truck has a 3.0-litre diesel making 321 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a bit more than the GTI’s turbo 2.0-litre that produces 240 bhp and 272 lb-ft. The GTI’s advantage is its weight, which tips the scales at 1,463 kg, making it far lighter than the 2,350-kg Amarok.

Gallery: 2022 Volkswagen Golf GTI US Version

The first race saw the Amarok get a huge start off the line, but the sheer mass of the truck allowed the Golf to narrow that gap. The smaller, lighter GTI is able to pass the Amarok just before crossing the finish line, earning the hot hatch its first victory with a 14.4-second quarter-mile time. The Amarok did it in 14.9 seconds. In the second race, things were different, with the Golf getting a terrible start. The Amarok took a massive lead, though the Golf clawed back at the end for a photo-finish – it looks like the two cars cross the line at the same time. 

The street start race was much fairer, with the two leaving the line at the same time. However, this spelled doom for the hulking Nissan, which stood no chance against the GTI. The rolling race was no different, with the Golf blowing the doors of the other VW. The Amarok might be more powerful, but its extra bulk and utility comes with a price.