Sponsors, are you reading? These three cars were made for Singapore’s first Olympic gold medallist
SINGAPORE — He’s done it! Joseph Schooling has made Olympic history and sent the country into a paroxysm of pride by clinching Singapore’s first ever Gold medal. He managed to thump swimming titan Michael Phelps along the way, too.
Now that he’s done his bit, let’s hope there are rewards for the young sportsman to reap. Here are three cars that we think encapsulate Schooling’s Oylmpic spirit. Sponsors, are you reading?
Volkswagen Golf GTI
This 220-horsepower pocket rocket has always been about taking a practical, well-built hatchback and giving it the heart of a champ. OK, it’s no good in the water, but it’s capable of some pretty stunning stuff out on the track. If you think it isn’t quite fast enough to run in Gold Medal circles, there’s always the more powerful (and more expensive), all-wheel drive Golf R, but it’s the GTI that feels like the more never-say-die car.
Porsche 718 Boxster S
Everyone says a 911 is the only “real” Porsche, but everyone is mistaken. The Boxster might have started out looking girly, but the latest 718 model has sharpened looks and, in Boxster S form, a properly potent engine. It’s only a 2.5-litre four cylinder, but it slugs out 350 horsepower. That’s enough for 0 to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, meaning it’s quicker than an original Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Plus, the roof comes down — perfect for drying young Schooling’s hair after those training sessions.
Defeating Phelps, who looks like a Tolkien character built for the water, is no mean feat. That kind of giant-slaying performance is just what the Audi RS 3 was built for. Think of it as a demented cousin of the Golf GTI (the two cars are built on the same basic architecture), with a 2.5-litre engine turbo boosted to 367hp. It’ll scorch to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds, which isn’t quite the stuff of supercars, but when there’s water on the road the lizard-like traction from its all-wheel drive system means the RS 3 driver could easily give a Lambo pilot the sweats. This isn’t a car for Joseph Schooling so much as it’s Joseph Schooling in car form.