How much quicker are hot hatchbacks when compared to their predecessors? To see just how far hot hatchback performance has advanced, the team at Cars.co.za decided to drag race a new VW Polo GTI against an Opel Kadett Superboss. In this class of generations will modern drivetrains triumph over the feather-light build of classic hot hatches? Let’s find out.

The Polo GTI is the perfect hot hatchback for customers who want something smaller than a Golf GTI and bigger than the tiny UP! GTI. This middle-child hatchback is sold throughout the world but doesn’t reach the shores of America where the Golf GTI is the only VW-built GTI available.

The Polo GTI used in the drag race is part of the new recently facelifted 2022 model year. Power comes from a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produces 204 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, which is similar power to the MKVI Golf GTI. The Polo GTI also benefits from a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with no manual transmission option. The Polo GTI weighs in at 2,835lbs (1,286kg) with a claimed 0 to 62 mph acceleration time of only 6.5 seconds.

The Opel Kadett GSi 16V S, Known as the Superboss, is a living legend in the world of hot hatches. Developed to beat BMW in the world of Group N Racing in South Africa, the Superboss is a motorsport-developed homologation special.

The Superboss was stripped of many luxury features to reduce weight and additions like a limited-slip-differential were added. The Superboss is powered by a 2.0-liter Red Top Opel 16-valve inline-4 that produces 168 horsepower (125 Kilowatts). This high revving naturally aspirated inline-4 only has to move 2151lbs (976kg) which gives the Superboss a great power to weight ratio.

In this battle of new versus old can modern drivetrains beat out lightweight motorsport bred classics. Well, let’s see how both hatches cope with a drag race and a rolling race.

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