Time marches on, and with it comes the forward trudge of progress. Despite best efforts, Volkswagen’s sporty hot hatchbacks have been getting larger, more comfortable, and much more capable. The current supermini-range of cars is now on par with what was a compact hatch in the early 1990s, and on paper the Up! GTI is pretty evenly matched with the MkII Golf GTI of old. Given a head-to-head battle, which one is going to come out ahead?

The two cars featured here have similar horsepower levels at about 115, and similar power-to-weight ratios with the Up! weighing just slightly more. Weight is a serious enemy when it comes to drag racing, but to the red car’s advantage is an extra 29 ft-lb of torque. There’s a long time to think about it, however, as they’re both rated to sprint to the quarter mile in about 18 seconds. Place your bets, which one will be quicker?