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The Warm, Hot and Hyper Hatchbacks of 2019

24w ago

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Toyota Corolla

Next year the UK will see the return of a familiar name in the form of the new Corolla. Derbyshire will be getting particularly reacquainted with the name as both the hatchback and estate version will be built there. After 13 years as the Auris, Toyota has gone back to the Corolla badge – marking the death of the Auris name worldwide. We never got an Auris hot hatch but things are looking more promising with the new Corolla. After recently releasing the limited edition Yaris GRMN, there’s scope for expanding GRMN to the Corolla.

The standard car certainly has the aggressive looks of a hot hatch. Credit – motor1

For now, the quickest Corolla on offer will be the XSE with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing a respectable 170 horsepower and 151lb ft of torque. Not a hot hatch by any means but watch this space for a Focus ST-rivalling Corolla GRMN.

Hyundai Veloster N

Hyundai took the hot hatch segment by storm in 2018. After poaching BMW Motorsport main man Albert Biermann, Hyundai developed one of the finest handling hatches in the i30 N and now they’ve also given the Veloster the ‘N’ treatment.

With the same platfrom as the i30 N, the Veloster should handle brilliantly. The looks are a bit divisive though… Credit – Road & Track

The Veloster boasts the same 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo four-pot as the i30 N (271bhp in the performance version) so it should be on par with its more conventional hatchback sibling.

Even though the i30 N received rave reviews on its release, Europe won’t be getting the Veloster N. This is probably because Hyundai were scared off by the standard Veloster’s poor sales. With its asymmetrical three-door layout, the Veloster N certainly is a departure from the norm in this segment and it doesn’t offer the practicality of the i30 N so perhaps it’s wise for Hyundai to focus on selling it in the States – where they don’t have the i30 N.

Ford Focus ST

The fourth-generation Focus launched in 2018 and the sporty ST variant will swiftly follow next year. Foregoing the current trend of downsizing engines, the next ST engine will grow by 0.3 litres to a 2.3-litre ecoboost four-pot unit nicked from the current Focus RS. Despite being detuned from the RS’ 345bhp, you should expect 250-275bhp – enough to rival the Renault Megane RS and the VW Golf GTI. Hopefully we see better reliability from the head gasket issues that plagued the Mk3 Focus RS.

Judging by current spy shots, the next Focus ST will look similar to this. Credit – X-TOMI Design

The Focus ST will likely be offered in ST-1, 2 and 3 trims with varying amounts of tech and features. A Quaife limited-slip differential and launch control will be likely options (just like the current Fiesta ST).

With a ‘focus’ (sorry) on class-leading handling, the standard car is 88kg lighter than the old Mk3 Focus ST and has a body which is up to 27% stiffer. This is good starting point for the ST but with an extremely competitive hot hatch market, it’ll have to be good value too.

Cupra Ibiza

With Cupra branching off from Seat to form a performance sub-brand, you can expect several new releases to fill the void in the fledgling Cupra line-up. So far we only have the Cupra Ateca SUV but soon there will be a new Cupra Leon, Cupra Arona and of course, a Cupra Ibiza.

Smatterings of carbon fibre indicate the Cupra Ibiza’s sportiness. Credit – Carbuyer

The Cupra Ibiza has been given the turbocharged four-cylinder unit from the new VW Polo GTI, producing 197bhp and 236lb ft of torque. This power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch auto gearbox. Cupra claim the Ibiza will get to 62mph in 6.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 146mph. The MQB-A platform is shared with the Polo GTI but as Cupra is marketed as a performance brand only, you can expect a stiffer chassis.

Mercedes-AMG A45

‘Hyper-hatch’ is a fairly new term in the automotive world. A few that fall into the category are the Audi RS3, BMW M140i and Ford Focus RS. All have in the region of 350bhp and cost over £30,000. The outgoing Mercedes-AMG A45 was arguably the most hyper of all the hatches thanks to a heavily turbocharged 2.0-litre four-pot that produced 376bhp. With a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds it had the shove to just about warrant its £40k price tag but with the new A-Class released this year, we’re due a replacement.

While we don’t have confirmation of what the new A45 will look like, X-TOMI Design portrayals are usually accurate. Credit – X-TOMI Design

The new 2019 A45 promises to be even more wild. A new 2.0-litre four-pot with turbocharging is said to produce over 400bhp, making it the most powerful engine per litre in the world. 0-62mph is likely to be under the 4 second mark.

Audi S1

The new A1 caused quite a stir when it was revealed earlier this year. With design nods to Audi’s rallying heritage, some say it’s fussy and over-styled whereas others say the aggressive looks suit the sportier feel. Either way, the S1 is coming soon (no announcement on an RS1 yet) and should be rather punchy thanks to a 250bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four pot and a stiffened platform shared with the Polo GTI and Cupra Ibiza.

Just like the Mercedes-AMG A45, the next Audi S1 has remained tight secret, but it should resemble something like this. Credit – X-TOM Design

Being an ‘S’ version there’s four-wheel drive, of course. This should allow for a blistering 0-62mph time of just over 5 seconds, along with grippy and planted handling. Expect even more Quattro-esque styling in the shape of a big wing and larger grilles.

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