German automaker returns fire with a putdown of its own

Three weeks into 2018 and we’re already seeing a brewing word war between Hyundai and Volkswagen. Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann is apparently not a fan of the Volkswagen GTI, and he made his thoughts known by calling out the German hot hatch as a lightweight compared to the i30 N. It didn’t take long, though, for Volkswagen to return fire, dismissing Hyundai as an upstart that still needs to know its place in the hot hatch hierarchy. Let the word war continue.

Hyundai Throws the Diss

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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With the GTI after two laps, the fun is over

We knew this was coming. Hyundai N boss Albert Biermann didn’t waste time putting the i30 N on a pedestal, telling Motoring that the hot hatch is “more suitable for track driving.” Biermann did say that the Golf GTI was a “great car,” but he followed that up with a dig at the GTI’s ability to sustain its pace on a race track, saying that “after two laps, the fun is over.”

When asked which specific parts of the GTI deteriorate after two laps, Biermann was blunt with his answer. “Everything,” he said.

Give credit to Biermann for championing the i30 N. That’s his job as the head guy of Hyundai’s N division. But his comments about one of the best hot hatchbacks in the market will get a reaction from the other side. Like clockwork, that response arrived faster than any of these two cars could complete a Nurburgring lap time.

Volkswagen Responds

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI
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Extraordinary claims are being made for supposed rivals that are not yet on sale

Volkswagen Australia Managing Director Michael Bartsch heard Biermann’s comments and shrugged it off as nothing but a chest-puffing act to bring attention to the i30 N. “Extraordinary claims are being made for supposed rivals that are not yet on sale,” Bartsch said in a statement to Motoring. “While any skunkworks can turn out a track day special, the expertise and experience required to engineer a GTI or an R – cars that also excel in the real world – is rather more hard-won.”

Bartsch is right to defend the honor of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. He didn’t bring the fight to the table; it was brought to him. It’s only natural for him to react to Biermann’s claims and try to put the upstart performance division in its place.

To be fair, this kind of bickering between two senior execs isn’t a rare occurrence in the industry. If anything, it happens far more often than we think. In this case, we can at least point to a resolution to the war-of-words. Have the Hyundai i30 N and the Volkswagen Golf GTI line up next to each other. Then the fun can really start.


Hyundai i30

2018 Hyundai i30 N Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai i30 N.

Volkswagen Golf

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

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Read more Hyundai news.

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Read more Volkswagen news.

Source: Motoring Australia

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