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2015 Subaru WRX STI vs. VW Golf R drag strip shootout [video]

Watch the 2015 Subaru WRX STI take on the Volkswagen Golf R on the drag strip. Who wins this race?

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After the last 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution rolls off the assembly line later this year, the next rival for the Subaru STI is the all-new VW Golf R. The Ford Focus RS is coming next year and will be another new rival in the compact sports car market. from South Africa takes a 2015 Subaru WRX STI and a 2015 Volkswagen Golf R to the drag strip to see which car is quicker in the quarter mile. Both cars are completely stock from the factory.

In the U.S., WRX STI produces 305hp and 290 lb ft of torque. In South Africa, the 2015 Subaru WRX STI’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder has been slightly detuned for the South Africa market and produces 296hp and 300 lb ft of torque. The VW Golf R’s 2.0-liter turbo produces 292hp and 280 lb ft of torque in the U.S.. The VW Golf R has also been detuned in South Africa to 280PS (276hp) due to the hot climate.

The Subaru STI will be getting new competition from the Focus RS as it’s coming with all-wheel-drive and will feature the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine from the Ford Mustang. Ford says the hot RS turbocharged engine will get at more.

Both models used in the video were completely stock, with the main difference between them being the transmission. While the Subaru WRX STI is only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, the VW Golf R comes with an optional six-speed DSG double-clutch automatic transmission. In South Africa, Golf R is also available with a 6-speed manual gearbox, but for this drag race, the guys at chose the Golf R with the DSG.

The South African WRX STI sprints from 0-62 in 4.9 seconds, South Africa VW Golf R with the six-speed manual launches from 0-62 in 5.2 seconds. VW doesn’t give sprint times for the Golf R DSG. Watch the drag race between the VW Golf 7 R vs Subaru STI and see what happens. took the new Volkswagen Golf R and 2015 Subaru WRX STI out to Killarney International Raceway where they also have a drag strip. Both cars come with very capable all-wheel-drive systems and I have no doubt the STI would definitely be quicker around a track with its rally-bred suspension. In this quarter mile drag race, the WRX STI can’t keep up with the Golf R with the 6-speed DSG double-clutch automatic transmission. says, “We ran the race multiple times and this was the closest result.”

The 2015 Subaru WRX STI has always been offered with the 6-speed manual gearbox, the new 2016 Ford Focus RS that arrives in the U.S. next spring will also come with a six-speed manual. The 2015 Volkswagen gets both a 6-speed manual and an optional six-speed DSG double-clutch automatic transmission. The new VW Golf R may have the early advantage in this three car race.

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JeffS (not verified)    April 20, 2015 - 10:35AM

Motor Trend recently, (as reported in their May 2015 Pub), took the US Spec versions of these cars, (STI w/manual, Golf R w/6 speed Auto) to Mazda Laguna raceway and the Golf R came in @1:46.01 with the Subie behind @ 1:47.16, so I'm not so sure that the WRX is faster around a track. Both nice cars, neither what I would choose.

BowDowntoZod (not verified)    April 20, 2015 - 11:57AM

And what's interesting is that the VW can do all this without that stupid, silly, bird-catcher wing on the back!