At TFL we love to take cars that people may not compare initially and see how they match up against one another. This time, we decided to take the all new 2017 Chevy Bolt and see how it compared in straight line speed with a 2015 GTI in the thin air at one mile above sea level.
The Volkswagen GTI Mk 7
Initially, you may think that the GTI should take this race no problem. At sea-level this may be the case, as the GTI supposedly reaches 60 in roughly 6 seconds with that much air density. However, we do all of our testing at altitude, which can have some drastic effects on engine performance and 0-60 times. In fact, we have tested the GTI here at altitude and the results are shocking. At a mile above sea level, the GTI take 7.19 seconds to reach highway speeds, well over a second slower than sea level. We have also had the opportunity to test the 0-60 time of the Bolt and it can make the sprint in 7 seconds flat, due to the fact that electric motors are unaffected by altitude.
What we are left with is an extremely close race that could go either way depending on a number of factors. This GTI in particular is a base model with the 6-speed manual transmission. It has a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 210 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. This power is sent to the front wheels through an open diff. This particular car is my own personal vehicle so I can also tell you that it has Pirelli P7 all-season tires, which are not the best for grip.
The Chevrolet Bolt
The Bolt, on the other hand, has an electric motor that makes 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft. of torque, again powering the front wheels. However, the major difference here is that the Bolt gets access to all 266 lb-ft. of torque at zero RPM. This makes for an extremely quick launch, which may be enough to beat the GTI on the right course.
Given our track is roughly 1/8 of a mile, this race was extremely close. Unfortunately, I am not an expert driver like Paul, so I had some trouble getting the GTI to launch well. That said, the Bolt actually ended up being quicker over 1/8 of a mile. I was able to edge out a win against Nathan, but that was due to a poor start by him. If the track were longer, or if the GTI had a better driver, this race would be extremely close. But thanks to its instant torque, and simple launch process, the Bolt emerged victorious. To see how close, you’ll have to watch the video.