Ford’s diminutive Fiesta ST has arrived with guns blazing to take on the competition in this year’s hot hatch shootout – will this pocket-rocket have what it takes to keep up with the stern competition?
Renault has fielded another F1-inspired hot hatch as part of its Killarney offensive this year; the Clio RS R27. Will this diminutive firecracker have what it takes to tear up the tarmac?
Don’t let the understated looks fool you – with 190 kW surging through its front wheels, the Mazda3 MPS is a serious contender in this year’s hot hatch shootout.
The Ford Focus ST has been a long-time favourite with us here at CAR, thanks to its ability to strike a balance between exciting performance with a degree of usability that is hard to match.
“You can only buy this car if you know how to drive!” said the tame racing driver, who wore a subtle, yet sinister grin, after piloting the Opel Astra OPC around Killarney. The same warning was given to those who dared to wrestle the savage Opel Kadett 200ts back in the 90’s, but the OPC’s not nearly that wild.
The Mini Cooper S has always been a scintillating performer in terms of its go-kart like handling, zesty 1,6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine and head-turning boppity-bop exhaust note, but it got a dose of testosterone just in time for our January performance issue – in the form of the Mini John Cooper Works.
A Volvo venturing into a hot hatch shoot out? It is rather difficult to grasp, but when the Swedish marque’s contender sports sharp, retro-flavoured styling and a powerful turbocharged engine, things begin to make a bit more sense.
What hot hatch shoot out would be complete without the latest iteration of the Golf GTI? It’s been a presence in the segment for some time now – is it too long in the tooth to keep up with the competition?
The performance hatch segment is a hotly contested area of the industry at present with such powerhouses as the Opel Astra OPC and Ford Focus ST vying for the attentions of potential buyers. The Honda Civic Type-R is bucks the turbocharged trend of these aforementioned competitors and steps into the fray with a rev-happy, normally aspirated engine – is it wading into a gunfight armed with a butter knife?
Named top hot hatch in CAR’s annual Top 12 best buys for 2008, the facelifted Audi S3 was an obvious addition to this shootout. But would the S3 Sportback, with two extra doors, perform to expectation?