The love affair with the hot hatch is somewhat strange. You have those that would happily drive a hot hatchback from the day they leave the test centre to the day they die and those, who see them as an unfortunate stepping stone before they get their filthy little fingers on Daddy’s M5.
We personally love them. What can you not love about them? If you are under 30 with no kids, no caravans and don’t need to get rid of a body wrapped up in a carpet, why would you choose anything else? Better fuel efficiency, lower insurance premiums, lower road tax bands, cheap repairs and easy to mod. Sold. 2013 will see a number of old models getting a face lift and an influx of new models all ready to battle for your attention and that inheritance your loving grandparents left for you. Now here is where you should blow it. Look out for a comprehensive review of hot hatches in our launch issue.
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Volkswagon Golf GTI MK7
If you are the first person to leave your local VW showroom with the MK7 this summer, understand this. Your celebrity status will be short-lived. Yes, you will be looked upon like Messi about to take a penalty in the 95th minute against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey final but, so will everybody else in that long line of VW enthusiasts stretching out the doors.
This is not going to be an issue as you will now be the proud and ever so slightly smug owner of the iconic Golf GTI. Available from Summer, the lastest version will come with a new 2.0 litre turbo petrol engine offering two different power outputs of 217bhp and 227bhp.
The 217bhp engine will be the standard version of the new model allowing you to go from 0-62mph in a reported 6.6sec. The Q’s of Volkswagon have fitted in a new steering system that will be lighter while manoeuvring at speed. Not stopping there, the 227bhp version of the GTi comes with its own upgrades that include bigger brakes and a totally new differential. All in all, a good effort from VW. Prices will be around £26,000 and you can start bothering your local salesman around April/May.
Ford Fiesta ST
Your dad owned one. His dad probably owned one and if you could afford them one day, your kids will likely own one. Now in its seventh generation, Ford’s Fiesta is older than our decrepit Editor but the big difference between the two is that the Fiesta is loved, popular and got a handful of fans. One thing they do have in common is that they are both known for living on past glories. This is about to change – well at least for the Fiesta.
The latest Fiesta comes with in a variety of engines sizes including the 1.25 (in two power outputs), 1.4 and 1.6 petrols and 1.4 and 1.6 diesels. Trim levels are the familiar Studio, Edge, Zetec and Titanium, all of which are available on the in three or five-door models. We are however only interested in the ones that Gooooooooooooooo!
At just £16,995, Ford’s junior hot hatch already looks like a bargain with its considerable price advantage over rivals such as the Mini Cooper S and Vauxhall Corsa VXR which we have reviewed in our April issue alongside the upcoming Peugeot 208 GTi and Renaultsport Clio 200. Although it’s based on the humble Fiesta, you’ll have no problem identifying it as the ST fills your rear-view mirror – thanks to its distinctive black mesh grille and scarlet ST logo. Equally, its chunkier bumpers, rear diffuser, 17-inch alloys and lowered suspension all help to mark out this range-topping Fiesta from lesser models.