Hyundai i30 N vs. E36 BMW 328i Drag Race Is a Reality Check

Who knew that a pointless drag race could be so entertaining? We have the brand new Hyundai i30 N going up against an ancient BMW, the E36 328i, and the results are not what you'd expect.
Hyundai i30 N vs. E36 BMW 328i Drag Race Is a Reality Check 2 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Cars like the Golf GTI and Focus ST are fast, but only because you're adjusting your expectations to family hatchbacks. Sticking with the 2-liter turbo formula, these cars have gained a few tens of HP and dropped about a second from their 0 to 100 km/h sprint time.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean they can put up with a real sports car. The contender of the day is an E36, but not the M3. No, this is the budget 328i model that's still powered by an inline-6 engine, yet one that's not as powerful.

After a quick tune, the 328i makes about 225 horsepower, which is 50 less than the 2-liter turbo in the Hyundai i30 N Performance. It also costs ten times less: £2.8k versus £28k. They Korean hot hatch has a much more luxurious interior with all the comfort and connectivity features, but they all add weight, and that's what impacts this race.

Rear wheel drive cars have a natural advantage when drag racing. When they launch, the rear tires naturally weight up, increasing traction, whereas hot hatchbacks lose grip. After the initial moment of the race, the 50 extra horsepower of the Hyundai gradually pulls it closer to the Bimmer, but by the end of the quarter-mile, they end up even with a time of 14.7 seconds.

What follows is the obligatory rolling race. The naturally aspirated 2.8-liter in the BMW has a much better response time, even though the i30 N was on boost. But eventually, the higher torque of the Hyundai means it catches up.

Brake test? You're just going to have to watch the video because we don't want to spoil everything.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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