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Same powertrain, different transmission: manual VW Golf R versus automatic Audi S3

Is the dual-clutch that much faster?

Both the VW Golf R and Audi S3 are blisteringly quick off the line when equipped with the dual-clutch seven speed gearbox, while manual cars have a tendency to bog down when setting off.

Carwow’s Mat Watson shows just how big that difference is in the video linked below. Both the Golf and S3 have identical engines and very similar weights and they both have all-wheel drive. However, the different transmissions really make a difference - it makes it seem as if one is more powerful than the other, even though that’s not the case.

Volkswagen claims a manual-equipped Golf R sprints to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, while a manual S3 does it in 5.2. However, spec the S3 with the automatic option and the sprint time drops to 4.5 seconds.

But how big a difference does it actually make in the real world?

CHECK OUT: Our road test review of a Golf at the opposite end of the range, the 1.6 TDI DSG Comfortline

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