Remember that time when the Nissan STi and Golf GTi went head-to-head; fuming the streets with carbon gas and causing rapid pulse beats as the race cars sped past you? Well, CarZar does! And we look back on the good old days of the vintage, automotive street hustlers.

The ‘98 drag racing legend, Sentra STi, has made its debut as the car Nissan ‘got right’. Up to present day, Nissan is still engineering memories on the streets – always making its way on the list of ‘top drag racing cars’, due to its large following in South Africa.

The Nissan’s STi variants that won the hearts of racers are powered by 140 kW at 6,400 rpm, spinning a drivetrain of 179 Nm torque at 4,800 rpm. The STi’s speed reaches its peak at 209 km/h with a 5-speed manual transmission.

The STi is popularly known for testing Golf 4’s street performance. 1997 saw the launch of Volkswagen’s fourth generation of the Golf GTI car. At the time, the ‘GTI Mark’ was one of the most widely sold cars in South Africa. Street racers therefore improved the ‘97 STi with topnotch mechanical drivetrains to turbocharge its 1.8-litre way to the finishing line.

When first released, Golf 4 boasted a firm drive, with its tenacious grip on the roads. The model stood out as it showed off a 55 kW powertrain at 5,500 rpm and torque of 128 Nm at 3,300 rpm.

Although the VW’s all-round racing appeal offers luxury, refinement and quality with an enjoyable driving performance, the vintage STi clearly packs up enhanced street power. But let’s not forget that the GTI boosts a top speed of 228km/h, and offers a sports package of 150 units pouncing from the exhaust and a brushed aluminum interior.

Taking the variants of both models into mind, who do you think will be the reigning champ?

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