Today’s World Cup matches are the last before the quarter-finals begin on July 2. Look for teams to substitute new entries designed to challenge the opposition, as no country wants to go home just yet.
Paraguay vs Japan
Paraguay is the second poorest country in South America. It has neither domestic automobile production nor foreign automobile assembly plants.
Japan, wanting to save the Nissan GT-R for future matches, substitutes the Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Equipped with a 304 horsepower, twin scroll turbo, four cylinder boxer motor in the domestic market, the performance claim of 4.5 seconds to 60 mph is ceremonial against an absent opponent.
Victory, by default, goes to Japan.
Spain vs Portugal
Spain abandons the Seat Ibiza Cup and instead substitutes the Seat Leon Cupra R. Packing a 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four, the Cupra R puts out 261 horsepower, good enough for a zero to sixty time of 6.9 seconds. Top speed is 150 miles per hour, and the U.K.’s CarPages rated handling as a four out of five.
Portugal fields the Volkswagen Scirocco R, built by AutoEuropa in Palmela, Portugal. With a 261 horsepower, turbocharged four cylinder motor and a curb weight of just 2,862 pounds, the Scirocco R is the highest performance version of the Scirocco ever produced. As tested by the UK’s Car Magazine, the Scirocco R will hit 60 miles per hour in around 6.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 155 miles per hour. It’s lower and wider than the Golf GTI, and Car gave it five stars for both handling and performance.
If the SEAT Leon Cupra R would have been put up against a Golf GTI, it may have stood a better chance. The Scirocco’s wider track, lower center of gravity and quicker acceleration made it an easy winner in this round. Victory goes to Portugal.
The next round of World Cup matches are scheduled for Friday, July 2. Games are Netherlands vs. Brazil and Uruguay vs. Ghana, so check back to see what I can dig up.