VW Group has two performance crossovers available with the same 300 horsepower engine, joined today by a third, the T-Roc R. But so far, we haven’t seen any drag races between them, just some normal comparisons. Top Gear stepped up, putting the Audi SQ2 versus the Mercedes-AMG A35 versus the Golf R versus the Cupra Ateca.
It wouldn’t be the new Top Gear if some of the specs on screen weren’t wrong and there, for fans to notice many years from now. It’s not tragic stuff, just the fact that the names don’t correspond to the cars on screen. Also, the weight of the Audi SQ2 is suspiciously low at 1,510kg. It’s supposed to be 1,585 kg, much closer to the Cupra’s 1,615kg.
In fact, all these cars are very closely matched, with 2-liter turbo engines rated at 400 Nm. Only the A35 makes slightly more power – 306 vs. 300 HP from all the others. All models have non-permanent AWD, 7-speed twin-clutch gearboxes (the one from AMG is obviously not the same one) and a FWD power bias.
The point of this drag race is to show the new batch of hot crossovers are just as fast as the hatchbacks they rival. But we feel it’s a little forced. I mean, the Golf R loses badly here, even though independent acceleration tests show it’s the fastest. It’s almost like Volkswagen UK knows it will make more money with the Ateca and SQ2 and neutered the Golf.
The outcome of the race is decided by a photo finish, with the bright yellow SQ2 being ahead of its the A35 by a nose and the other two slightly behind. Top Gear almost calls it: hot hatches are dead. They could be right, even if we don’t believe the Golf R should have lost.