They are everywhere! Hot hatches with all-wheel-drive, powerful turbocharged engines, and of course a price tag that will make your head spin. That is the definition of a Super-Hot-Hatch, and they are awesome.
With so many options on the docket, it’s hard to know which way to turn. Do you go with the lavish Mercedes A45, or do you go with the boy racer Civic Type R? The answer is so subjective that it’s impossible to pinpoint. But, if your question is which is the fastest, well we now have an answer for that. CarWow set up a drag race between the top 5 Super-Hot-Hatches, all in the name of speed. With two passes, one rolling one from a dead stop, the results showcased the top dog in the hot hatch kingdom. Without further ado, let’s meet the contenders. It would only make sense to organize these cars from cheapest to most expensive. Also, since some of these cars aren’t available stateside(looking at you AMG) we will be using Pounds instead of US dollars.
Honda Civic Type R – £30,995
Honda’s newest Type R is one that was met with disturbingly mixed reviews. Some love it, some loath it. Either way, there is no denying it has that same Honda refinement we know and love. For just over £30,995 you get a 2-liter turbo engine that makes a not-so-shabby 316hp and 295lb-ft of torque. You also get a Nurburgring tuned chassis and styling that appeals to no one. So you have a car that is actually quite nice to drive, yet you wouldn’t want to be caught dead in it. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t fit into this list. Perfect example, it’s barely a hatchback. Which kind of kills the whole ‘hot-hatch’ vibe. Let’s be honest, it’s a sedan with a wing. You also don’t get all-wheel-drive like its main competitors, which knocks it down a fair amount in this comparison. The makes the Type R 0-2 before the cars even set off. The final strike for the Type R is the fact that it doesn’t produce a monstrous amount of power. To be considered King of the ‘Super Hot-Hatches’ you have to at least be super, and the Type R just isn’t.
Ford Focus RS – £31,385
Next car up the MSRP ladder is the Ford Focus RS. In stark comparison to the Type R, the RS is easily a top contender for the crown. At £31,385 it also comes in as the best bang for the buck when you look at outright performance. The RS has a 2.3-liter inline 4 that musters 345hp and 325lb-ft of torque. Pair that to its high tech all-wheel-drive system and you have a package that is hard to beat. The Ford only falls short in two categories, both of which are slightly subjective. First, the RS only comes with a manual transmission. Under normal hot hatch reasoning that would be a tally in the pro column. But we aren’t comparing your average hatchlings, these are supposed to be super. That means the RS should at least have an upsell for the fancy dual clutch magic that is all the rage these days. The other downfall is styling. No matter which way you shake it the RS is still undoubtedly a Focus at its core. There is little to differentiate the two, resulting in a package that feels cheaper than it really is.
Volkswagen Golf R – £31,865
Creeping in at a mellow £1,000 more than the RS is the Golf R. The R easily has the most lineage here, building off of the mega-successful Golf platform we know and love. And while the R can easily be turned rabid when it comes to the aftermarket world, in stock trim, it’s a little soft. With 306hp and 295lb-ft of torque, the R stacks up well against the aforementioned Civic. Well, until you realize it weighs over 200lbs more than the Type R. The difference comes in with pure fit and finish. The R has more class in its glove box than the Type R has in its entirety. And with its Haldex all-wheel-drive, the R also packs more technology. CarWow stacked these two to have a competitive race, but if they had fit the R with its optional DSG transmission I don’t think it would have even been close.
Mercedes A45 AMG – £41,830
Holy jump in price, Batman. Going up almost £10,000 is a serious investment for a little more speed. Or maybe a lot. Spending over 40K on a hatch back seems absurd. That is until you see what it can get you. The A45 AMG is a masterpiece if I have ever seen one. The 2-liter turbocharged inline 4 cranks out a blistering 376hp and a thundering 350lb-ft of torque. For your money, you also get a 7-speed DCT gearbox and the fit and finish you would come to expect from Mercedes. Really the only part of the A45 that doesn’t make sense is the body style. AMG has been making some magnificent cars over the years, but the hot hatch market was never one of them Now though we have a car that can really compete. It’s just a crying shame we don’t get them here in the states, it could just be the answer to all our problems.
Audi RS3 Hatchback – £44,300
Last but definitely not least, the new Audi RS3 Hatch. Audi is making waves with some of its newest models, including the RS3. The RS3 is the only car here not sporting an inline 4. Instead, Audi put its treasured in-line-5 to good use. With a little bit of forced induction, the 2.5-liter engine howls with 400hp and an equally impressive 395lb-ft of torque. Like the Mercedes, the RS3 also has a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and all wheel drive. Unlike Mercedes though, Audi has been working on their all-wheel-drive for some time, offering the most dialed system in this vein. Fit and finish is also top notch. The merc does appeal to the kid in all of us, the RS3 easily goes after the power hungry adults. All that style is a disadvantage when you look at the scale though, with the RS3 being the heaviest of the bunch. And at £44k it’s an incredibly high price tag for what is still a hatchback. It isn’t until you look at everything you are getting that the price starts to make sense. Once you see this thing run, you won’t question that price in the least.
So there you have it, 4 Super hatches and an imitation sedan. Who will win? Who will reign above the rest? You likely know the answer, but the video is entertaining none the less. Watch, enjoy, repeat.