Hot Hatchbacks: The Unusual Suspects
I’m sure when you hear the term ‘hot hatch’ three cars spring to mind – the Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes A45. Whilst they’re all great cars that have rightfully earnt their place as some of the greatest hatchbacks in motor history, we think it’s time to pay homage to the other cars that deserve a little attention too.
Join us as we delve into Order of Magnitude’s Top 5 ‘Unusual Suspects’ hot hatchbacks.
5. Renault Clio RS 1.6
Ok, this one is in anticipation of what might have been, rather than what we already have.
Slated to house the 271bhp engine and gearbox from the Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R in the body of a Clio RS, the RS 1.6 was revealed as a concept car in 2016. Sadly, it never made it to production.
Expected to come in at the £34,000 mark, Renaultsport are masters of the hot hatch and I’m sure this would have sold very well indeed.
4. Abarth 695 Biposto Record
A juiced up Fiat 500? Yes. One to turn your nose up at? Absolutely not.
Abarth’s heritage as a race car manufacturer and performance specialist has helped to turn the first time driver’s favourite into a bit of a monster.
The Abarth 695 Biposto Record celebrates the historic acceleration record set by Karl Abarth in 1965.
With 62mph arriving in just 5.9 seconds and with a maxed-out speed of 143mph, its eye-watering price (£37,000 new) is just about justifiable if you are looking for exclusivity, fun and a very quick city car.
Only 133 were ever made, one for each record Abarth have broken. First released in 2016, you can get your hands on one at just roughly 60% of its original cost, if you know where to look. Not bad for a little piece of motoring history.
3. Honda Civic Type-R
23 years on from Honda’s first release of the Civic Type-R, their latest model looks like something that wouldn’t be out of place in the Fast and Furious franchise, with no need for hair and makeup…
With it’s obnoxiously large spoiler, and three (yes, three!) exhausts, the Type-R may not be for everyone. Honda have managed to take what notoriously started to become a boy-racers car, and turned it into a hatchback that boy-racers can only dream of.
With a 316bhp turbocharged 2-litre engine that can propel it to a frankly ridiculous top speed of 169mph, the Type-R is a previous holder of the FWD Nurburgring lap record.
Starting at just £33,000, the Type-R is a real guilty pleasure with immense performance and capability.
2. Mini JCW GP
Remember when they were actually mini?
Time to forget the Italian Job and discuss the brilliant job that Mini has done on their 60th Birthday celebration hatchback.
Mini released two versions of the JCW GP – a fully specced model and a track model that has some essentials for your day-to-day use ripped out. We recommend the former unless drives to work in the summer with no air-con or infotainment system is for you – in which case, the track model may take your fancy.
Its 2.0-litre engine produces an impressive 302bhp, which in turn can see you hit speeds of up to 165mph – imagine that in a Mini!
Coming in at just over £35,000, the JCW GP is on the pricey side for a Mini, but promises to give you every bit of enjoyment (apart from changing gear – it’s an auto) you got whilst watching it’s ancestors rip through the streets of Turin – though we advise you stick to the roads.
1. Toyota GR Yaris
If you’d told me I’d have a Toyota at number one of a hot hatchback list a few months ago, I’d have asked you to put the wine down. Yet, here we are.
Toyota have taken one of their most basic models, and turned it into everything you could ever want in a hot hatch.
The GR (Gazoo Racing) Yaris is the Japanese company’s take on a rally car turned into a road car, and what they’ve come up with is quite frankly brilliant, IMHO.
With a top speed of 143mph, the GR isn’t the fastest on the list by a long way, but what it ‘lacks’ in speed, it makes up for by being a brilliant bit of kit. I won’t give too much away, but take a look at Harry Metcalfe’s real-world review to see what got it to top of our list.
Coming in at £33,495, and with only 750 coming to Britain (for now), the GR Yaris is definitely on the “blink-and -you’ll-miss-it” list.
If you’re looking to finance any of the above, or maybe something else, make sure you check out our finance calculator. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, with a range of finance products available for you.