The DS 3 Performance offers a recipe on paper that will leave most hot hatch fanatics quite curious. The petrol 1.6 litre turbo engine develops 205bhp with 300Nm torque that will get you from 0-62 in just 6.5 seconds – so it’s more than capable of keeping up with almost any small hot hatch. DS have balanced this power with beefy brakes and lower sports suspension which overall makes the DS 3 Performance a force to be reckoned with in the hot hatch world.
As whole packages go, the standard Renault CLIO is up there with the best well-rounded cars. The additions to the Renaultsport CLIO 220 Trophy then seem improve an already revered car. The racy Renault CLIO 220 handles like a dream, has a comfortable ride and the engine and exhaust orchestrate a fantastic sound. The only problem some hot hatch enthusiasts might have with it is the fact a manual gearbox is somewhat notably missing. This leads to some drivers feeling more distant from the driving experience than they’d like.
The third generation Ford Focus ST packs a 2.0 litre four cylinder engine that produces a huge 247bhp which gets you from 0-62 in just 6.5 seconds. The engine is linked up to a short-throw six speed manual gearbox that helps to completely immerse the driver in the experience. The body is also rigid enough to be able to make sharp turns and still have the car respond the way you want it to. The Focus ST exudes character through its driver involvement, engaging handling and refinement when driving it day-to-day – it definitely deserves its place in our top hatches.
In terms of overall performance and driver involvement, the Ford Fiesta ST is arguably one of the best hot hatches ever. The Fiesta ST develops 180bhp from a 1.6 litre EcoBoost turbocharged engine with 197bhp said to be available when in ‘overboost’ territory. The manual only gearbox and tight hugging Recaro sports seats make the driver feel completely engrossed within the driving experience. Take this thing out on a B-road and it will be able to keep up with almost any sports car (there’s a reason it’s known as the giant killer).
Influenced by their recent revival within the WRC, Toyota introduce the limited edition Yaris GRMN. Its supercharged performance is something you normally wouldn’t associate with a Yaris. It has a 1.8 litre engine producing 210bhp delivered to the tarmac through the front wheels and a six-speed manual gearbox. Toyota offer the car in three-door form only and you get 17-inch BBS multi-spoke alloy wheels as well as a racy rear black wing spoiler. The eye-catching white, black and red paintwork is also said to mirror Toyota’s WRC war paint. As recent hot-hatches go this is definitely the most outlandish one of the last five years and for that reason we love it!