VW Golf GTI Is Like a Cradle in the Wind, Diesel SEAT Ibiza Shows It How It’s Done

VW Golf GTI vs. SEAT Ibiza 6 photos
Photo: Screenshot Youtube | DragCar4K
VW Golf GTI vs. SEAT IbizaVW Golf GTI vs. SEAT IbizaVW Golf GTI vs. SEAT IbizaVW Golf GTI vs. SEAT IbizaVW Golf GTI vs. SEAT Ibiza
The never-ending war between gasoline and diesel was recently reenacted yet again, at a drag racing event in Hungary that saw a Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk6 and an old SEAT Ibiza TDI settle their dispute down the quarter mile.
But wait, surely a Volkswagen Golf GTI, no matter when it came to life, cannot possibly lose a straight-line battle to a diesel-powered subcompact hatchback, right? Normally, yes, but it appears that this SEAT Ibiza is far from stock.

A turbodiesel 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine lies under that small hood of the third-generation model. Depending on the configuration, it produced between 100 and 158 hp, with the latter number being reserved for the Cupra R variant, which was capable of topping out at 137 mph (220 kph). So, with some minimal invasive procedures, it could, in theory, give a true compact hot hatch a run for its money.

Its rival was a sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI, which came with 197 horsepower and 207 pound-feet (281 Nm) of torque straight from the factory. The turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine was connected to a manual or an automatic transmission, each one with six speeds, directing the thrust to the front wheels. From 0 to 62 mph (0-100 kph), it needed 7.2 seconds and could run out of breath at 146 mph (235 kph). The later models had 208 bhp and were 0.3 seconds faster to 62 mph.

Spoiling the outcome of a drag race is not something that we usually do, but we will do it this time, because it’s not that common to see a diesel-powered subcompact model beat an FWD hot hatch. Thus, at the end of the run, the former did 13.9 seconds, with a 176 kph (109 mph) exit speed, whereas the Golf GTI did 14.8 seconds, at 152 kph (94 mph). Now, head on down and click the play button to watch the actual race.

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About the author: Cristian Gnaticov
Cristian Gnaticov profile photo

After a series of unfortunate events put an end to Cristian's dream of entering a custom built & tuned old-school Dacia into a rally competition, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living. He's worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
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