DriveTribe community car of the decade - hot hatchback category
The joy that can be found behind the wheel of a hot hatchback has to be felt to be believed. They are supercars that don’t wear capes; they are heroes that walk amongst us. And if people put the significance on obtainability that it warrants, one of these seemingly humble machines could walk away with the prize. And the nominations are...
Ford Fiesta ST
The Fiesta ST - particularly the variant that came from the sixth generation Fiesta - is a frequently referenced figure in the kingdom of the hot hatch. For it is said that it offers a level of fun more intrinsic with a significantly higher price point. And yet this element that cannot be given a tangible statistic is available in something as ordinary as a Fiesta. And for that, it’s great!
Ford Focus RS
If however you want your hot hatch to be scalding, then Ford’s other offering - the Focus RS - may be more up your street. With the 2.3L 4-Cylinder engine turbocharged to produce 345bhp, put through a 4WD system complete with “drift mode”, the Mk III Focus RS was an instant hit. Not to mention it was offered for not all that much more money than a Golf GTi with 120 horsepower less. While the hype that surrounded it upon release may have died with the head gasket, it is a standout hot hatch of this decade.
Honda Civic Type R
With 4WD systems becoming more commonplace amongst the very fastest hyper-hatchbacks, the FK8 Civic Type R pleads the case of basic old front wheel drive with staggering aplomb. Managing to lap the Nurburgring in just 7:43.8, it set what was then a record for front wheel drive cars, lapping faster than a Mk I Audi R8 V10, a Jaguar XJ220, and a Pagani Zonda C12 S. As far as I’m concerned, nothing defines the notion of progress better than a Honda Civic being able to lap a German racetrack faster than a car that once held the title of world’s fastest production car.
Mercedes A45 AMG S
The brand new A45 AMG S really is a car that pushes the definition of the term “hot hatch” to frankly absurd levels. For it is a relatively humble Mercedes A-Class that sends 416bhp at all four wheels thanks to the most powerful 2L engine every put in a production car. It would be sagacious to argue that it doesn’t maintain the traditional spirit of the hot hatchback, and even stretch your critique to saying that it’s nothing more than - as Chris Harris said - a car built for influencers. Love it or loathe it, it’s unmatched insanity grants it eligibility for this vote.
Renault Megane S Trophy R
Progress: it is the inevitable force that pushes hot hatchbacks to frankly ludicrous performance, while simultaneously driving them out of the reaches of attainability. The Renault Megane S Trophy R is such a vehicle. It may only have a relatively modest 296bhp, but thanks to the efforts that Renault have gone to in order to make it handle like a housefly on speed, it lapped the Nurburgring in a staggeringly quick 7 minutes and 40 seconds. No front wheel drive car with number plates has ever gone quicker. The only trouble is, in order to own the version of the car that’s actually capable of that kind of pace, you’ll need to write out a check for an eye-watering £72,000!! Whether that’s an influencing factor in the decision that you guys make is entirely up to you.
Volkswagen Golf R
The Golf R is a hot hatchback that offers such an irresistible level of all round ability, it makes you wonder why anybody buys anything else. Prior to having cleaner exhausts fitted, the Mk VII produced 306bhp. When sent through a DSG gearbox to the Haldex 4WD system, that was enough to get it from 0-60mph in about 4.5 seconds. A manual gearbox was offered too for those with taste, but now unfortunately isn’t included as an option. Abound with comfort and practicality, the Golf R was akin to a grand tourer dressed as a hatchback, and for that, it has proven to be a staple of hot hatch royalty.
So then, that’s all the contenders for the hot hatchback category. Cast your vote below for your favourite hot hatch of the decade - the winner of which will go through to the final vote with the winners of the other 9 categories. Voting closes at 7pm GMT on Monday the 9th of December.