Chevrolet Bolt Smokes Volkswagen Golf GTI In Drag Race – Video


Old Versus New – Bolt Versus GTI

The world’s original hot hatch has fallen victim to the Chevrolet Bolt.

We’ve seen hundreds of videos now of various Tesla smoking gas competitors, but are there other electric cars that can put a beat down on gas vehicles of a similar size?

Seen here is a Volkswagen Golf GTI equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It’s a 6-second, 0 to 60 MPH car, or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, the Bolt can reportedly (according to Motor Trend) do the 0 to 60 MPH dash in 6.3 seconds and rip through the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 93.1 mph

The video shows three separate races, with the Chevy Bolt winning two of three. But when the starts off the line are relatively even, the Bolt blows the GTI away.

Just like in all the Model S races we’ve seen, the EV gets repeatable, consistent results, whereas the gas car struggles to return consistent times.

Video description via The Fast Lane Car:

“What’s faster in a straight line. Is it the original hot hatch or the new all electric Chevy Bolt. In this Past vs Future drag race we find out.”

Category: ChevroletRacingVideos,

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63 responses to "Chevrolet Bolt Smokes Volkswagen Golf GTI In Drag Race – Video"
  1. Bob Nan says:

    More of this type of drag races are needed to show that every electric vehicle is faster than gasmobile to create awareness among people.

    1. says:

      I’m not sure if these races will do anything but can tell for sure some people are pretty ignorant when it comes to evs. My wife told her coworkers she was driving electric and most were saying they could never do that because they are too slow. When asked what they actually drove all said prius hybrid! Maybe these cars need to race the prius line and embarrass them to make a point.

      1. Mike says:

        It’s mostly because he bolt is brand new and the Tesla is very expensive (until the 3 comes out).

        Every electric up until this point have been slower. The mitsubishi ev, leaf, golf ev etc.

        As more products hit the market that are better, then people will begin to appreciate.

        I am one of the people that needs to wait until the infrastructure is in place before purchasing a full ev. I love the Tesla idea but there are only 2 chargers within 40 miles of my house and both are just about 40 miles in each direction. I can charge at home but then I’m not really saving any money over a 45 mpg car with current gas prices. The bolt is a great car. But I can’t see spending $33500 after taxes credits on a car like that when I can but many other competitive cars for 10s of thousands cheaper. Civic si is actually quite intriguing right now. If you but that car + 5 years worth of gas + estimated residual I can pretty much guarantee if will be at least $6000 cheaper than the bolt total costs and residual after 5 years.

        1. SparkEV says:

          You forgot SparkEV. SparkEV’s been quicker than most cars in its price range since mid 2013. As of mid 2014 when lighter 2015 came out, it’s been the quickest car under $20K. If you’re after kick-ass EV on a budget, used SparkEV might be your best bet at about $7K nowadays.

          If you can afford $20K (or $18K), used BMW i3 might be the best.

          1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

            Also, the Rav4 EV with a Telsa motor and battery pack.

            1. Brian says:

              The cheapest EV hands down is a 3-4 year Nissan Leaf for $12k; and drive it for 5 years the cost per mile can’t be beat.

          2. Unplugged says:

            And don’t forget the zippy Fiat 500e. Many a performance car has been embarrassed off the line. (Until you reach about 45 mph.)

  2. bro1999 says:

    I think the Bolt actually eeked out the GTI in race #2.

  3. Vexar says:

    Makes me excited for the Model III drag races to come. Model III versus VW GTI. Model III versus Bolt. Model III versus Chrysler e-Pacifica. Model III versus P100DL Model S (just for comparison).

    1. SparkEV says:

      I’d be more interested in race against BMW 3 series. That’s more comparable to Tesla 3 in price, acceleration, size, etc.

  4. Someone out there says:

    I’ve seen that the Bolt EV have a tendency to slip with its front wheels. Maybe if they used wider tires and/or weighed down the front it would do even better?

    1. unlucky says:

      It certainly could use stickier tires if you’re going to drag race it.

      Better than adding weight would be just to relocate the battery pack forward. Then the car doesn’t weigh any more than before but the weight there is is where it can aid in traction better.

      1. says:

        Don’t know how other evs are doing but my eGolf slips too when floored, just briefly before the traction control kicks in. I thought most evs do this due to the instant torque.

        1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

          Nah. My 2012 Leaf doesn’t do that, unless the road is wet. But that’s because for whatever reason, Nissan figured that these things don’t matter. They deliberately nerfed the acceleration, possibly because they figured either passenger comfort or drivetrain longevity was more important.

  5. ClarksonCote says:

    I feel like the Bolt had a better launch on the first race, the GTI on the second race, and even on the third race.

    On that third “even” launch, the Bolt EV definitely crushed the GTI. Very nice.

  6. Tom says:

    I know this isn’t the point but these guys do lots of 0 to 60 testing too. During these tests the vehicles are generally a second or more slower than manufacturer claims because they are in Colorado at high elevation and they mention that. At sea level the GTI likely wins.

    1. alohart says:

      Shouldn’t the GTI’s turbo have eliminated the lower atmospheric pressure effect at high altitude?

    2. unlucky says:

      The GTI is turbocharged. It compensates for altitude. Shouldn’t be any different.

  7. SparkEV says:

    What’s with the tire squeal? You lose time when you do that. Based on squeal on mid race, it seems it was GTI. As they mentioned in point #3, the GTI driver sucked.

    It would’ve been the same result if they put a grandma as Bolt driver. But had they put little old granny from Pasadena in GTI, GTI would’ve definitely won.

    1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      So you have to be an expert driver with a standard to have a hope against an EV?

      Perhaps that’s also an EV win.

  8. peetah says:

    if there was some way to get this car to grip it would probably close to a 5.9 second car.

    1. More Grip? Easy! Put Ice & Snow Winter Tires on it! Those are Sticky! Probably cheaper that race tires, too!

      Or, how about this: race them in Reverse? All the weight naturally falls onto the front tires then, for more traction!

  9. SparkEV says:

    “are there other electric cars that can put a beat down on gas vehicles of a similar size”

    SparkEV has been doing that since mid 2013, almost 1.5 years before Tesla started kicking butt.

    1. ffbj says:

      That’s true, but SparkEV never gathered the wide spread distribution or interest.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Thanks to the idiots at GM. Had they made SparkEV available in Europe, it would’ve been as good a seller as Zoe. Or even better since SparkEV is quicker than all gas cars of comparable price / size.

        1. Well, the SparkEV was GM’s More Modern replacement for the EV1, and they Crushed the (sales of the) SparkEV by limiting production and availability! It never did make it to retail Sales in Ontario, Canada!

          1. SparkEV says:

            Unlike EV1, GM did announce plans to sell in Europe only to cancel it later. It was about the time they started working on Bolt.

            There are several “crazy” people driving SparkEV in Canada, despite GM’s idiocy. One guy took several days to drive it from CA to Canada before widespread (or any) DCFC was available.

          2. bro1999 says:

            The Spark EV may have at one point had plans for a national (or at least expanded) release beyond CA, OR, and MD, but once GM decided to build the Bolt, the Spark EV turned into a compliance car/guinea pig for Bolt/Volt 2.0

            1. floydboy says:

              It was already that!

              1. unlucky says:

                Yeah, I would more say it was confirmed to remain a compliance car at that point.

  10. ffbj says:

    The Bolt is peppy. GM learned, from the Volt, how not to do acceleration.

    1. Neromanceres says:

      Actually from 0-30 mph the Gen II Volt is faster than the Bolt EV. The Bolt EV shines above 40mph with good higher end power.

      1. Kdawg says:

        And the Gen2 Volt is faster 0-30 than a Tesla Model S 85

  11. menorman says:

    Not banking on it, but GM should introduce a Bolt RS with stickier tires, better suspension, and tuned a bit more for performance. It could easily be a mid-five second car if they tried (down from its current mid-six second 0-60s).

    1. Or, they could put the Volt Drivetrain in the Front, and move the Bolt EV Drivetrain to the back, cut ~20 kWh and add 10 Gallons of gas, make it a peppy 4 Wheel Drive EREV, with ~150 Miles all Electric Range, plus about 350 miles range on Gas, include the CCS in the base model, add those sticky tires, and rename it the “Lightning!”

      Bolt of Lightning, with All Wheel Drive, and under 5 Seconds 0-60 times!

      1. SparkEV says:

        That makes too much sense. GM would never do it.

        Even as BEV, they could’ve put SparkEV drive train in front and Bolt’s in rear for 340 HP. Based on SparkEV parts prices, it would only add couple of thousand dollars (at retail spare parts level). Reduce the battery size to 50 kWh, and they could’ve had the same priced EV with AWD and 340 HP. That would be worth $37.5K!

        1. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

          Yeah, GM doesn’t like doing performance cars…

          Oh wait.

    2. Bacardi says:

      Like the ELR, simply just offer a performance option…One issue that will need to be addressed is the self sealing tires…First on a performance trim model adding a spare tire will add weight, next if GM never intended for the Bolt to house an inflator there’s no where to put it…

      The whole counter argument is that on as a Bolt variant, the performance/SS model may be least enticing model especially if the hp/tq isn’t increased…Perhaps an ECO mile downsizing wheels and some addition loss of creature comforts to cut weight in favor of increased range…Perhaps a better idea is to add a “Z71” package…More ground clearance and some lower body cladding in the same way the Volvo has the “cross country” package or how the Subaru Crosstrek is created from the 5 door Impreza…Yet even that would be of limited appeal if FWD only…

      1. unlucky says:

        I’m pretty sure the Bolt has an inflator in the subbasement below the basement in the trunk.

        1. Bacardi says:

          MY17 does not include an inflator in the US…

          1. unlucky says:

            Holy cow. There’s no inflator kit in there.

            Just a lot of empty cubbies.

            1. Bacardi says:

              Oddly a weight saving design, problem is you convert the sprung weight of the compressor to the unsprung weight of the wheel…Bottom line though is its an unsung hero because if you run over something you may not even know that there was a puncture and a seal where if you had a regular tire it may require you to pull over…

              1. unluckym says:

                I don’t think the car has runflats.

                Do you have a link to the tire model? Because I looked at the tire and saw no indication it has runflat capability. Tirerack doesn’t say it has it either. It also doesn’t say it doesn’t, they list a tire that looks identical to the OEM but is not marked as OEM. It may be it’s just a non-runflat lookalike. Or not.

                1. unluckym says:

                  Okay, I looked again. It says “selfseal” on the tires. So they are runflats.

                  Interesting tirerack doesn’t sell the selfseal version.

                  1. Unplugged says:

                    “Self-sealing” is different than run-flats.

    3. EVDUZIT says:

      I’ve got 4,000 miles on my Bolt… Handles great due to low center of gravity but suspension is almost too tight over bumps. Tires need improvement.

  12. vin says:

    I suspect ffbj is referring to the Gen 1 Volt.

    1. Bacardi says:

      The argument is that 30-60 (on ramps, passing lanes on non-highways) is far more usable a 0-30 stoplight romp…You could also make the argument that a 0-30 romp is wasteful yet if you’re stuck behind a driver who’s going 35MPH in a 45MPH zone the average American will desire to pass them…

    2. ffbj says:

      True. I should have been more specific, as that was only one I ever test drove. And it was slow…

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Still way faster than LEAF, Prius, Kia Soul…

        And then Gen 2 Volt was way faster. Faster enough to spank most EVs except for Spark EV, Bolt EV, BMW i3 and Tesla which are all more expensive except for the now discontinued Spark EV.

  13. Scott Franco says:

    The Bolt can ramp launch, that’s what I care about. Ramp launch = get up the freeway ramp and into traffic speed without issue.

  14. bro1999 says:

    I’m taking my Bolt to an autocross event in Southern MD this Saturday! Should be a blast! Will be running stock everything, no mods of any kind.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Don’t bring shame to the house of Chevy, and make sure to post lots of videos!

    2. Bacardi says:

      Unless there’s a charger there, like most EVs, if the lower the SOC the slightly slower it becomes? May want to avoid the first wave if possible as the hotter in the day the better the track…Car will be physically fastest on the first run…

    3. Justin says:

      Cool, let us know how you do. I’d like to AutoX mine as well but I won’t bother until I have a spare set of wheels with at least some performance summer tires on it, no point in running the low rolling resistance hockey pucks that are on it now, too much slippy!

    4. vicxh says:

      BEst to have the car towed there and back rather than spend additional time on charging

  15. goodbyegascar says:

    Lightning Bolt!

  16. Bradford in Dallas says:

    I am still a ICE guy, when it comes to cars, due to range and my needs. I am buying a Zero electric motorcycle and maybe even an electric Trek Bike…..

    I am, however, VERY proud of GM and Chevrolet for the Bolt…it seems to me like a great little car with the chance to go mainstream in a big way. Hope it does!

  17. FISHEV says:

    That was funny and cool. Bolt’s a sweetheart.

    If they only added dynamics cruise, I’d be driving one waiting for Tesla Model 3 and Audi e-Quattro to duke it out.

  18. Adi says:

    I had enough of the BS drage race.EVs are fast in a straight line,by this time it’s a well established fact.But GTI is no way inferior to Bolt, they both are completely different car serving commonly different purpose. So please stop this stupid compression.

    1. Martin T. says:

      Oh dear are the Germans throwing up their bratwurst and sauerkraut ?

      VW engineering is overrated use of plastic to pay for the overpriced assembly labor.

      Never and crap brakes pad and disc that cost more to maintain than the equivalent GM product or Japanese / Korean.

      VW = nice to test drive, but crap to own after the warranty expires!

  19. Jacked Beanstalk says:

    Now if Chevy could make the Bolt handle as well the GTI then we would have a clear winner.

    I drive a Gen2 Volt and once the acceleration gets old you’re stuck with a poor handling car and no aftermarket suspension upgrade options. It wallows, rolls, squats, and dives like a Buick. I’d go so far as to say that the poor suspension tuning results in car that is dangerous to drive within the acceleration capabilities.

    It’s not easy to attain great handling while keeping an acceptable ride quality, but it’s not rocket science either. Chevy needs to learn, fast, or they will never compete with Tesla or foreign EVs.

  20. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

    I greatly enjoyed how the Bolt demonstrated that EV drivetrains are better by virtue of the fact that you don’t lose a 1/4 second of acceleration when you shift. You see the GTI lose a lot of its lead in the second run because of that.

    And if you wanted a real demonstration that way, all you have to do is try to start the GTI in its highway cruising gear – just like the Bolt does. Kind of tips the playing field against the gasser.