Home / Social media / Cars / Another hot hatch drag race starring Audi, BMW, Honda, Mercedes, and VW - Place your bets.


It’s drag race time with the Carwow crew again, and it’s back to some properly fast, modern hot hatches. The reason behind getting this ensemble together is the UK release of the new Honda Civic Type R, and of course, that means the very first thing to do it pit it against some class competitors and see if the paper bark relates to real-world bite or not. As it stands the new Civic Type R is one of the best hot hatches to come from the land of the rising sun, and when there’s so much fanfare surrounding the available power, the tight chassis and the times it can post on racetracks we need to know where it stands in the performance stakes. Sure, straight-line racing doesn’t test everything the car is built to do, but when it can post street car circuit records we do expect it to more than hold its own. With that in mind Mat Watson and his usual suspects rounded up a few competitors based pretty much on the pricing, there are only a few grand between them. The lineup doesn’t include the best hatches from each automaker though. From Audi, they chose an S3 instead of an RS3, and from Mercedes-AMG, they chose the A35 over the A45. There is no higher 1-Series BMW hatchback available, so they used the M135 xDrive, and from Volkswagen there is also a range-topper in the form of the Mk8 Golf R 20 Year.

The stats on paper are healthy across the range. The Civic Type R is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that’s rated at 235 kW with torque measuring in at 420 Nm. It tips the scales at 1 429 kg making it the lightest of the bunch, and when you do the math it should be pretty quick, although the power is only sent to the front wheels and the transmission is manual. The limited edition Golf 8R 20 Year is the most powerful Golf there is to date with a monster 245 kW with torque at 420 Nm from its turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder lump, and that’s sent to the ground via all-wheel drive and 7-speed DSG transmission. This competitor weighs in at 1 480 kg. Being a VW fanboi, my money went here. The Audi equivalent is the S3 and from this turbocharged 4-pot power is at 228 kW with 400 Nm of torque, and a very similar transmission in the form of the 7-speed S-tronic sending power to an all-wheel drive system. It has more heft than the VW counterpart with a weight of 1 500 kg flat. The BMW M135i xDrive comes to the party with 225 kW and the highest Newtons of the lot at 450 Nm from its turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-pot, and this power also goes to all fours and makes use of an 8-speed automatic transmission. The BMW weighs in at 1 525 kg. The Mercedes-AMG A35 is the heaviest competitor with a weight of 1 555 kg, and in this one, the turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-pot is rated at 225 kW with 400 Nm of torque, and there’s a 7-speed DCT transmission in play, along with all-wheel drive.

Take a look at the YouTube video with a drag race between a pretty decent selection of fast, modern hot hatches. It must be said that our money was on the Golf R - take a look to see how much money we won or lost: New Civic Type R v M135i v A35 v S3 v Golf R: DRAG RACE | carwow

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