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The super hatches have landed

By raccars Published

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Hot hatches have always had a big fanbase in the UK, but there's a new breed of super hatches on the horizon likely to set a whole new generation of speed freaks salivating. The new Ford Focus RS is leading the way but has some serious competition on its hands, with other manufacturers coming up with their own take on the theme, which often features four wheel drive and Nurburgring lap time records.

Honda Civic Type R

Set to arrive next summer and priced from £30,000, the new Civic Type R is less brutal in its delivery of power than the Focus but is dramatic looking and no less fleet of foot. The biggest change for the new version comes in the introduction for the first time of a turbocharged 2.0 litre engine, with Honda having previously favoured a naturally aspirated i-VTEC unit.

Audi RS3

Also on the way for next year there's a new halo model to top the S3. It's wider, wilder and more powerful and, using Audi's famous quattro four wheel drive system, should get to 62mph within 4.5 seconds. It's expected to cost around £40,000.

BMW M135i

A rare rear wheel drive entry onto the list, this is a relatively civilised super hatch. It's due imminently and is said to offer impeccable handling and superb agility for about £30,000.

Renault Megane RS

This summer should see the arrival of the £30,000 new Megane RS. Its USP is a supposed Nurburgring lap time of less than eight minutes - a rumour which has yet to be substantiated. Nonetheless, Renault has always excelled in the hot hatch department so excitement is high for this car.

Seat Leon Cupra

The current front wheel drive Nurburgring lap record belongs to the Seat Leon Cupra, due any time now and a relative bargain at £28,525. A turbocharged 2.0 litre engine with 276bhp and a limited slip diff are responsible.

Vauxhall Astra Extreme

As a last hurrah for the current model Astra before a modern replacement arrives, Vauxhall is releasing the Astra Extreme next year for an estimated £35,000. With a limited production run, the car should be generating 325bhp from its 2.0 litre turbo engine and makes use of lightweight construction techniques and a bold aerodynamics kit.

VW Golf R 400

The ultimate in hot hatches is expected to find even hotter form after VW introduced this concept earlier in the year. A limited production run is on the cards for the wild, 395bhp, four wheel drive Golf R 400, which is said to accomplish 0-62mph in less than four seconds.

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