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Posts Tagged ‘hot hatches’

Toyota Adding High-Performance Yaris

But will European hot hatch come to the U.S. any time soon?

by on Dec.14, 2016

Toyota Europe's hot hatch Yaris sketch.

For those who think of the Toyota Yaris as just another boring econobox, the Japanese maker may have a surprise in store.

With an assortment of new models – including the next-generation Camry – set to pump up the passion quota, Toyota’s European subsidiary has revealed plans to “return to the hot hatch market” with a rally-inspired makeover of the Yaris.

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“The #YarisWRC will have a direct impact on expanding the Yaris line-up with a performance oriented version,” Toyota Europe revealed in a tweet accompanying the release of this sketch.


Honda Civic Type R Makes its Debut

Lap record holder for Nurburgring has no plans to come to US market.

by on Mar.04, 2015

Honda introduced the Civic Type R in Geneva.

Getting over to Switzerland for the annual Geneva Motor Show can be a wonderful experience checking out all the latest sheet metal. But there’s a downside when you discover a hot new model that won’t be coming back home.

Such is the case with the new Honda Civic Type R, a pint-sized performance car likely to set hearts to flutter for many U.S. buyers.

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How fast is it? Honda is claiming that a prototype version lapped grueling North loop of the Nurburgring in just 7:50.63, about four seconds faster than the previous record for a front-drive car set last year on the Nordschleife by a Renault Megane RS. If you focus on launch times, it reportedly can launch to 100 kmh, or 62.5 mph, in 5.7 seconds.


Honda Civic Type R Heats Up Hot Hatch Segment

Japanese maker going for ’Ring record.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The Honda Civic Type R may be the fastest Type R in the 22-year history of it brand.

The chatter about “hot hatches” has been going on for some time, and Honda’s new Civic Type R is only going to add fuel to that fire.

Featuring a few small exterior changes, such as an electric blue paint job to replace the standard red, it still keeps the large rear wing, quad exhausts and racing-style rear diffuser.

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Speculation is that the new iteration is the best performing Type R in the 22-year history of the car. In fact, Honda’s been running the new version around Germany’s famed Nurburgring track trying to set a new record. (more…)

VW Shows Sporty Fun Can Also Be Enviro-Friendly with Golf GTE

Plug-in hatch set to debut in Geneva next month.

by on Feb.21, 2014

The new VW Golf GTE is the more enviro-friendly sibling of the sporty GTI hot hatch.

If you equate the word, “sporty,” with “gas-guzzling,” Volkswagen is out to prove you wrong with the upcoming launch of the new Golf GTE.

The “E,” of course, is the giveaway, this plug-in hybrid-electric hatchback set to make its world debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.  According to VW, the new model will deliver as much as 31 miles in all-electric mode and using the European rating system gets an estimated 157 miles per gallon.

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But it also can pump out 201 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, enough to defy the traditional image of a hybrid by launching from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 7.6 seconds. It can hit a top speed of 135 mph, and will even reach 81 mph in battery mode – though you’ll expect that to cut your range substantially.


New Volkswagen Golf R – More Powerful and More Fuel-Efficient

But U.S. motorists are in for a wait.

by on Aug.20, 2013

The new Golf R debuts in Europe by autumn.

While American motorists will still have to wait awhile to see even the base version of the new Volkswagen Golf reach showrooms, VW is already offering us a look at the next-generation Golf R performance model.

And the hot hatch will deliver a combination of more power and improved fuel-efficiency, the maker says, while offering the latest version of VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

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Already on sale in Europe, the seventh-generation Golf has been generating quite a bit of buzz with its new lightweight platform and features. And that carries over to the new Golf R which adds some touches as its progressive steering and Dynamic Chassis Control, or DCC, systems, as well as a new sport suspension.


Kia Proceeds to Up Performance of pro_cee’d GT.

Korean maker takes aim at Volkswagen’s newest GTI.

by on Mar.04, 2013

Kia ups the performance of the pro_cee'd GT with a new 1.6-liter turbo package.

Kia has made a rapid transition from econobox maker to a brand better known for strong design and unexpected performance, a shift it hopes to reinforce when it pulls the covers off the new Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT at the 83rd Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva.

“The world premiere of Kia’s new pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT highlights the diversity of our current product line-up and underpins the natural expansion of the brand into the performance car market, an important step forward for Kia,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe.

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Designed in Europe the Kia pro_cee’d GT and cee’d GT are expected to challenge the likes of the Volkswagen GTI, no easy task considering VW’s dominant position in the Continental hot-hatch segment. Performance will be part of the pitch, but so will styling.


VW Bringing Sporty New GTD, GTI Models to Geneva

Only one of the hot hatches will make it to the U.S.

by on Feb.27, 2013

The new VW GTI will debut in Geneva next month but won't reach the U.S. until 2014.

Volkswagen will launch a pair of hot hatches at the Geneva Motor Show early next month, including one that could surprise folks who haven’t figured out what modern diesels are capable of doing.

For U.S. fans, the big news will be the debut of the seventh-generation Volkswagen GTI, the latest version of this German pocket-rocket now to be offered with an optional performance package that will churn out a hefty 230 horsepower, enough to launch it from 0 to 100 kmh (0 to 62.5 mph) in just 6.4 seconds on the way to a 155 mph top speed.

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For those who want some neck-snapping performance and good fuel economy, the GTD will deliver with a 2-liter turbo-diesel rated at 184 horsepower and a tire-spinning 280 pound-feet of torque.  VW isn’t saying what it’ll do in 0 to 60 launch mode but the GTD boasts a top speed of 143 mph.


First Drive: Ford Fiesta 1.0-Liter EcoBoost

Everything you know about small engines is wrong.

by on Nov.27, 2012

The 2014 Ford Fiesta update will get a new 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

In the wake of the twin oil shocks of the 1970s, automakers flooded the market with a variety of high-mileage powertrains that were, well, less than impressive.  That included smoke-belching and rough-riding diesels as well as pint-sized engines, including some 3-cylinder alternatives that could shake the fillings out of your teeth.

The latest European import diesels have begun to reshape the way Americans think about that technology, sales for products like the Volkswagen Passat TDI surging fast. Now, Ford is ready to rewrite the rules on micro-sized engines, with a diminutive 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder EcoBoost scheduled to debut in the subcompact Fiesta line next year.

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The package is the latest of four EcoBoost engines Ford has introduced in recent years, a line-up that the company bills as a serious alternative not only to conventional gasoline power but even battery-based hybrids. Motorists have so far taken to the technology, EcoBoost sales soaring in products ranging from the midsize Fusion sedan to the big F-150 pickup. But will the new 3-cylinder offering deliver in the 2014 Ford Fiesta?

To find out, took an early flight out to Los Angeles, in advance of the upcoming LA Auto Show, to get a day’s driving behind the wheel of a 2014 Fiesta equipped with the new 1.0-liter engine.  Our initial experience was, in a word, “impressive.”


Ford to Add High-Performance Fiesta ST Model

A "distinctive growl" - and more power than a Mini Cooper S.

by on Nov.27, 2012

Ford will get into the hot hatch market with the launch of the 2014 Fiesta ST.

Ford plans to power up its new 2014 Fiesta subcompact.  Barely a week after announcing it will add a new 1.0-liter version of its EcoBoost technology to the updated Fiesta line, it now says it also will add a sportier ST version to rival the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Mini Cooper S.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST will bring the sportiest version of the Fiesta to the U.S. market from Europe, where the ST designation was first introduced. Ford has also launched an ST version of the larger Focus model. It will be powered by a 197-horsepower, 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

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“There’s a big opportunity” to appeal to young buyers who aren’t interested in the conventional American definition of a muscle car, which would be a larger product like the Ford Mustang powered by a more fuel-hungry V-8, explained Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing czar.