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Once upon a time, GTI had a singular meaning in the Volkswagen world. These days the moniker appears on several VW hatchbacks, and though each has its own interesting attributes, all of them are fun-to-drive runabouts with some measure of practicality. Still, perhaps you’re wondering what would happen if the current GTI family came upon a long, wide stretch of tarmac. Thanks to the guys over at carwow, you don’t have to wonder anymore.

See more Volkswagen hot hatches in action:

The players for this drag race are the Golf GTI Performance, Polo GTI, Up! GTI, and the Golf GTI Clubsport S. You probably recognize the Clubsport S as the former front-wheel drive record holder at the Nürburgring with a time of 7 minutes 47 seconds, achieved with the help of its boosted 2.0-liter TSI engine sending 310 horsepower (227 kilowatts) to the front wheels. That officially makes it the most powerful car in this drag race – 60 more than the GTI Performance and gobs more than the Up! GTI’s 115-hp (86-kW) tiny turbocharged three-pot. In the middle of all this is the Polo GTI and its 200-hp (149-kW) version of the 2.0-liter turbo.

Volkswagen GTI showdown drag race

Going strictly by the power figures, then, the Clubsport S should run away from the pack while the Up! GTI takes station at the back. If you recall a recent drag racing article from us (listed above, coincidently featuring another VW hot hatch – the Golf R) you’ll know just how important the launch is when it comes to winning at the strip. To that end, two of the four cars in this group feature automatic gearboxes with launch control – the Golf GTI Performance and the Polo GTI. There are a couple different races and we won’t completely spoil the video for you, but we will say yes, launch control matters.

Now, if VW would just send these models to U.S. shores, we could partake in the giddy fun ourselves.

Source: carwow via YouTube

Gallery: Volkswagen GTI Showdown Drag Race

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