These little cars have amazingly powerful engines

Small cars are designed for easy maneuvering in towns and cities and usually come with small, fuel efficient engines just powerful enough to make sure you get to the parking space first. Initially, small cars in the compact and subcompact class were functional designs to make mom’s daily taxi and weekly grocery run as convenient as possible. However, as they became more popular, whether because of their size or the economics of the late 1970s and 1980s, automakers adapted their options to larger models. to fit their small cars with great results.

One of those options was to make the engines more powerful and the overall driving experience sportier, which resulted in the niche we all know and love: the hot hatch. French automakers such as Peugeot, Renault and Citroën introduced the world to the hot hatch, and the Germans perfected it with the original Golf GTI. Since then, almost every automaker has attempted to manufacture a hot hatch, with varying success.

Some of these creations turned out to be so popular that they are still in production today, with manufacturers continuously vying for the Hot Hatch King crown with incredibly powerful engines.

ten Ford Fiesta ST (197 HP)

Via Youtube

The Ford Fiesta ST is a hot subcompact sedan designed specifically to make city driving more exciting. It is fitted with a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder producing 197 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque, transmitted to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. It’s a nervous little car, perfect for tackling a side road without going over the speed limit.

Via CarsGuide

The Fiesta ST won Top Gear Car of the Year award in 2018, thanks to its brilliant handling and bouncy engine. A Fiesta ST costs around $ 22,000 in the UK, making it a steal compared to its more powerful rivals.

9 Toyota GR Yaris (257 HP)

Via Toyota Ireland

The Toyota GR Yaris is a totally absurd concept put into production that makes everyone happy that it exists. The car is designed specifically for rallying, however in order to follow the homologation rules for this motorsport Toyota had to sell a number of road cars, and this is how the GR Yaris was born. It features a 1.6L three-cylinder turbo engine, developing 257 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque at all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Via Scarboro Toyota

The GR Yaris engine currently holds the record for the world’s most powerful production 3-cylinder engine, all in a subcompact car. Unfortunately, the GR Yaris is not available in the US, but for drivers looking to import, it is a possibility. Prices for the GR Yaris in other countries range between $ 36,000 and $ 41,000, making it quite an expensive toy.

Related: Toyota Still Bets On A Hydrogen Future With The GR Yaris

8 MINI Cooper GP (301 CV)

Via the BMW blog

The MINI Cooper John Cooper Works GP is the second generation version of the Cooper GP and features a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, which sends 301 horsepower and 332 lb-ft to the front wheels via an automatic transmission at eight gears. It sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds and hits 160 mph, making it the fastest production MINI to date.

Via German Boost

Unlike the less powerful John Cooper Works model, the GP is designed to establish the fastest possible time on a track. The MINI GP costs around $ 45,000, which makes it rather expensive for a hot hatch. The reason for this expense is due to the fact that the MINI GP is a limited edition car, which has already been sold out.

seven Honda Civic Type-R (306 HP)

The Honda Civic is the definitive Japanese sedan, and the Type-R is the queen of Asian sedans. It comes with a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four engine, six-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive. Technological features of the car include adapting the revs to make it seem like a pro at driving and a smart front differential to ensure the car does not understeer over a mountain pass.

Via Troy Media

The Civic Type-R costs $ 38,000 for the normal and $ 44,000 for the Premium edition. Both have the same horsepower and torque of 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft, respectively. Related: 10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Honda Civic Type-R

6 Volkswagen Golf R (315 HP)

Via MotorTrend

The Volkswagen Golf sets the standard for all other hatchbacks. The Golf GTi is the undisputed master of the front-wheel drive market, but the more powerful Golf R, with its all-wheel drive, is a bit lacking among its rivals. However, it still has a powerful engine in the form of a 2.0L turbo inline-four, producing 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed DSG transmission.

Via the VW press

Gone are the days when you could get a Golf with a cleverly packaged six-cylinder VR6 up front, like in the Golf Mk5 R32. The Golf R Mk8 costs around $ 43,000 – on par with its competition – however, that’s almost double the price of a base Golf.

5 Ford Focus RS500 (346 HP)

Via Coach

The previous generation Ford Focus RS was a great car with 305 hp at the front wheels only, thanks to a Volvo 2.5L five-cylinder turbocharger. But then Ford created an even crazier version in the form of the RS500, producing 346 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, always go to the front wheels.

Via Better Parts LTD

The RS500 got special matte black paint, black RS wheels, and an adjusted limited-slip differential on the front axle, to help rule out potentially understeer horses. At the time of production, the RS500 was the most powerful production hot hatch ever made, delivering even more power and much more torque than a BMW M3 E46 – all going to the front wheels. The RS500 cost $ 35,000 in 2010 – the same as a 6-cylinder BMW 3 Series from a similar year.

4 Ford Focus RS (350 HP)

Via J9 performance parts

When the last generation Ford Focus RS was released, it was the best super hot hatch on the market. It ditched the 2.5-liter turbo-five in favor of a 2.3-liter Ecoboost inline-four, which produced slightly more power than the previous RS500. The big difference between the two cars was that the new RS had an intelligent all-wheel drive system which, when used in the right mode, could easily cause the car to drift.

Via Fortune 1

Due to the increased power and the new drivetrain, the Focus RS could do 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds and hit 165 mph. This makes it as fast as some high end sports cars or low end supercars. Overall, the Focus RS has received good reviews, however, longtime owners have criticized reliability, as the head gasket will wear prematurely, resulting in expensive repair bills – all on a car already costing. over $ 41,000.

3 Audi RS3 (400 CV)

Via the Audi Media Center

The new Audi RS3 promises to be the best RS3 yet. To everyone’s surprise, Audi kept the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder, but this time with more power and torque. The entire transmission has also been revised to provide a more engaging and satisfying driving experience. Audi also made the RS3 more fun by adding a “drift mode” like with the Ford Focus RS and the Mercedes A45S AMG.

Via the Audi Media Center

Audi has redesigned the appearance of the new RS3 to be more in line with the styling of other RS ​​cars, which means more black trims, bigger wheels and exciting exterior colors. This all comes at a price though, as the estimated cost of the new Audi RS3 is expected to start above $ 60,000, making it an expensive sedan. Related: 10 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A 2022 Audi RS3

2 BMW M2 Competition (405 CV)

Via the BMW group

The BMW M2 is the smallest of the M cars in the BMW range. The regular M2 was fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, paired with the choice of a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.


The M2 proved to be incredibly popular, so BMW upped the stakes and created the M2 Competition – a more M-focused version with most of the drivetrain and handling parts taken from the larger M4. The biggest change is the engine. It uses the M4’s 3.0-liter biturbo inline-six, producing 405 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque, all in a car less than an inch larger than a Porsche 718 Cayman. All these changes come at a hefty price of $ 60,000 compared to the $ 53,000 for the regular M2. Related: Watch This BMW M-Series Showdown; BMW M240i 2022 VS BMW M2 2018

1 Mercedes-Benz A45 S AMG (421 CV)

Via automotive research

Although the Golf GTi is the definitive hot hatch, the Mercedes-Benz A45S AMG is the king of the hot hatch segment in terms of speed, power, luxury and cost. It holds the records for the most powerful four-cylinder and the most powerful stock 2.0L engine in the automotive world. The car produces 421 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque transmitted to all four wheels via an eight-speed DCT gearbox.

Via Mercedes-Benz

This propels the car from 0 to 62 mph in a record time of 3.6 seconds and is electronically limited to 155 mph. This makes it more powerful than a BMW M3 E92 with a 4.0 liter V8 engine! These discs have a pretty substantial price tag – the equivalent of $ 68,000 in the UK, as they are not for sale in the US and are only produced to European specifications.

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