In the Headlights – East Vs West {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

9 May 2018

To start with, an apology. I’ve been reliably informed by our lawyers that 97% of the jokes I was going to put in this opener would have resulted in us being sued, or having a Nuke aimed at us, so they’ve all gone in the bin sadly. Never mind, onwards!

This week’s ITH theme does indeed build on the biggest news item in the world right now, the hopeful peace process between North Korea and the rest of the world, so we thought what better to celebrate than East Vs West. It beings back some incredibly popular cars like our duo of 650+bhp coupes, the Litchfield LM20 and Camaro ZL1 1LE which would be a truly interesting battle on or off track. Then it’s the established hot hatch king the Golf R against the new upstart from Hyundai – the i30N. Who will win? Only one way to find out – FIGHT!

Litchfield LM20

If we were talking about modified cars we simply had to include the Nissan GT-R. Ever since the R32 Skyline GT-R came out, people have been tuning them and with the GT-R in the UK there’s one company that has been at the forefront since the beginning – Litchfield Motors. They’ve been tuning cars for 20 years now, so given how popular the GT-R is they created the LM20 – basically the best of all the tuning things they do for the latest GT-R in one, limited run package of only 20 cars. On the outside there are some additional carbon fibre aero parts like a front splitter and rear wing to help it stay on the ground, along with some seriously gorgeous RAYS alloy wheels (the only choice for a true Japanese legend). Behind those wheels are larger Alcon brakes and Litchfield’s own bespoke Bilstein Damptronic suspension along with custom Eibach springs and anti-roll bar. Nobody has ever described the GT-R as slow, but of course there’s a performance upgrade too, with a new exhaust system, new turbo downpipes, larger fuel injectors, high flow fuel pumps, a bigger intercooler, new intake and of course Litchfield’s custom ECU calibration which in this setup results in a staggering 666bhp and 834Nm of torque. Fast? How does 0-60mph in 2.5s grab you? This really is the best GT-R on sale today, get one while you can…

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Okay let’s not beat around the bush here – this Camaro is easily the most absurdly, ridiculously aggressive car we’ve ever had in the competition. Just look at that front end – a mass of gaping intakes, grilles, winglets and sheer anger. But it’s not all mouth and no trousers this ZL1 – or specifically the ZL1 1LE to give it the full, slightly silly name – this is a muscle car that is designed to take the flight to the Germans and their Nurburgring obsession. There’s a 650bhp supercharged V8 to start with, that goes through either a manual or auto gearbox to the rear wheels to start with. Then there’s that crazy bodywork which has all been honed in a wind tunnel (and the fact that the aero kit is so aggressive it stops it from being sold officially in Europe), not to mention the fact that the ZL1 1LE has the widest front tyres fitted to a production car. Basically this is America’s way of getting around the ‘Ring – tonnes of power, lots of aero and sticky rubber. It may not be sophisticated but it’s going to be huge fun.

VW Golf R 5dr DSG Performance Pack

For a company like Volkswagen the halo car is particularly important. Most of their range is made up of reliable, stylish, high quality cars that blend into the background of everyday life like the Polo, Tiguan and Passat. So they really need exciting performance models to get people interested – step forward the Golf R. or in this particular case the best specced Golf R you can get – the 5-door, DSG Golf R with their new Performance pack that brings bigger brakes, bigger alloys, a new spoiler, a higher top speed and a fruity Akrapovic titanium exhaust system. These cars are staggeringly good fun, one of the best all-round packages available and these additions just make it even better.

Hyundai i30N Performance

There’s a reason why the motoring press have gone wild for the i30N – it’s absolutely brilliant! I’ve actually got one of these on the drive as I type this and have spent every moment I can driving it. Doing what nobody thought was possible, Hyundai has created a hot hatch that is every bit as good to drive as the Golf GTi, looks fantastic and sounds incredible. You also get 271bhp in this Performance version meaning proper performance is under your right foot. Look past the badge and the i30N is one of the greatest hot hatches out there, in my eyes beating even the Civic Type-R as an all-round package. You’d be foolish to miss out. Keep your eyes open for more video content with the i30N!

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So, who wins? East or West? Well sadly for us in the West I think it has to go to the East this time. The LM20 is a staggeringly complete car, punishingly quick and is a stunning all-round package, while the Hyundai i30N does what nobody had ever considered a Korean hatch would be able to do. Now, they’re only available until midnight on Sunday so go and get your tickets!

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