Is the New Polo GTI Faster Than The Clio RS? We Can't Really Tell

Is the New Polo GTI Faster Than The Clio RS? We Can't Really Tell 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
Didn't the Clio RS and new Polo GTI drag race already? No, they didn't; this is the first one. When Carwow did that big hot hatch thing, they didn't bother with the Renault.
We think this drag race is as big as they come in this segment. If you want to buy the Polo GTI, you're probably going to ignore the MINI JCW because it's expensive, the Fiesta ST because... you hate Ford and the Yaris GRMN because nobody can buy one. But the Clio RS is also an automatic, super-fast and very affordable.

Not this one, though, because it's the Clio RS 18 F1. Renault asks a lot more money than VW and only gives you fancy paint and wheels. One thing we do want to mention is that the engine is the same as in the Clio RS 220 Trophy, while the Michelin Pilot Super Sport 205/40R18 might offer an advantage in this race.

While the Clio's high-strung 1.6-liter turbo makes 20 more horsepower than the 2-liter in the Polo, the latter's +40 Nm is supposed to be the real game-changer, since to torque is what pulls cars forwards. Factor in the Polo's heavier body and... yeah, let's just watch the race already.

The South Africans took the Polo and Clio to their favorite drag strip, switched everything off and floored it. The Clio launches way better and secures a lead of about two car lengths. But after that, the Polo GTI catches up to eventually win the race.

Based purely on the specs, that doesn't make sense. But we know the Clio RS made less than officially claimed in dyno tests. On the other hand, drag races in the real world are way shorter than a quarter of a mile, so Polo's initial loss of traction might have been damning.

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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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