There’s nothing quite like a well-sorted hot hatch, is there? Handily, there are six new options on the way to South Africa in 2020 (we consider the Mercedes-AMG A45 S already here since it was added to the local configurator back in September 2019; same goes for the A35 and BMW's M135i xDrive). Here’s what you can expect…
1. Honda Civic Type R (facelift)
Honda has yet to reveal the facelifted Civic Type R but the local arm of the Japanese firm has confirmed it is indeed on the cards for South Africa at some point in 2020. While details are scarce at the time of writing, there’s at least a chance the 228 kW/400 N.m turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine will benefit from an improvement or two.
2. Hyundai i30 N
Yes, the Hyundai i30 N will hit the local market at the end of January 2020, with the initial shipment comprising just 50 units. Revealed as long ago as July 2017, the Korean hot hatch employs a 2,0-litre turbocharged engine worth up to 202 kW and 353 N.m, with drive directed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.
3. Mini John Cooper Works GP
Mini’s new two-seater John Cooper Works GP is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in “limited numbers” (a small selection from the 3 000-unit global production run) from the third quarter of 2020. Its turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers the front wheels some 225 kW and 450 N.m via an eight-speed automatic transmission (sorry, folks ... no manual gearbox option here).
4. Renault Mégane Trophy
Renault’s Mégane Trophy was pencilled in to join the local range in 2019 but its introduction was pushed back to 2020. Slotting in above the RS280 Lux and RS280 Cup variants, the Trophy’s 1,8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine has been tweaked to provide the front wheels with 220 kW (up from 205 kW in the Sport and Cup models). Fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox, peak torque sits at 400 N.m, while specifying the six-speed EDC dual-clutch transmission sees this figure rise to 420 N.m.
5. Volkswagen Golf 7 GTI TCR
Yes, Volkswagen will bring in 300 examples of its Golf 7 GTI TCR in the second quarter of 2020. The front-wheel-drive GTI TCR employs the Wolfsburg-based brand’s familiar turbocharged 2,0-litre four-cylinder, but in this case tuned to deliver 213 kW and 370 N.m, up on the standard GTI’s 169 kW and 350 N.m. It’s fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard.
6. Volkswagen Golf 8 GTI
VW has yet to reveal the next-generation GTI but the local arm of the German company has already confirmed the GTI-badged model will be the first Golf 8 variant to arrive in South Africa in the final quarter of 2020 (with a 110 kW Golf 1,4 TSI and the range-topping R model following). Of course, peak outputs for the next GTI (which has been rendered a few times) have not yet been announced...