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See Whether The Volkswagen Golf R Is Actually Faster Than The Nissan Z – HotCars

by Nov 8, 2022Blog0 comments

There’s a gulf between these two cars, but we see whether the German hatchback is a faster performance machine than the iconic Japanese sports car.
Nissan’s Z has enjoyed almost unanimous praise since it became one of the sports car stars of 2022.
Perhaps it’s because it’s the right car at the right time, a rear-wheel drive coupe with real performance and an optional manual transmission.
We’re lucky with the range of sports cars and muscle cars available to us today, and with cars like the Volkswagen Golf R things the level of choice for fast machinery is richer still.
Most people wouldn’t think of bringing the Golf R hatchback and Z coupe together for a race but the two cars are more similar than we might think – thanks to YouTube channel Sam CarLegion we can see how the two fare against each other in a head-to-head face-off.
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It’s a surprising comparison but here are the two cars – sports car and hot hatch, a 3-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp / 350 lb-ft in the Nissan Z and a 2-liter twin-turbo I4 with 315 hp / 310 lb-ft in the Volkswagen Golf R.
The sports car coupe has a 9-speed automatic transmission here with RWD, while the hatchback gets a 6-speed manual transmission; the Nissan Z can also get ordered with a manual though.
Looking at the comparative weights, the Nissan Z is almost 200 lbs heavier than the VW Golf R, price-wise with around $4,700 separating the two it looks like the test could shape up to be interesting.
For the first race, the two take off sharply but the results are perhaps surprising from there on out.
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Nissan’s Z wins, but not by much, the Volkswagen Golf R looks like it can almost keep up with the Z and with a few more horsepower it may be more or less equal.
So, not surprising then given the 85 hp advantage and 40 lb-ft for the Japanese sports car, even with the 200 lbs mass extra it’s just too much for the small hatchback.
More interestingly, the Golf R is only a car length or two behind the Z at the finish line, suggesting the cars both seem just as fast in the real world.
The Nissan Z would spin its tires in these races whereas the Golf R has awesome traction with its AWD, so in worse conditions the Volkswagen could be the clear winner.
In addition, with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox it might win valuable seconds in a race, but in the end, the rolling-start races prove the Nissan Z to be faster still.
These races notwithstanding, the performance of a fully-loaded, practical, comfortable, German hot-hatch against a Japanese sports coupe is impressive.
Hailing from Britain, the home of both MG and Aston Martin, Dave is no stranger to sports cars. Or a little rain. When he’s not busy working his day-job or writing songs and pretending to be a musician; Dave indulges his obsession with cars by writing and researching diligently, so that he can inform and convert other people to the dark side.