hatchback

hatchback

  A hatchback is a type of automobile design, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or flip-up window. Hatchbacks are also often called three-doors (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-doors (four entry doors and the hatch) cars.

The 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo is perhaps the most underrated and under-loved hot hatch on sale today. But I can’t seem to work out why. It takes the successful recipe utilized by names like GTI and Mazadspeed3 and adds a dash of Nissan flair. Sounds like fun to me.

Marketed as a crossover, the little Juke is the last car that anyone expected Nismo to fettle, but the results speak for themselves.

The car is basically pocket-sized, it is 16 inches shorter than a Honda Civic , but it comes loaded with a 197-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder, three pedals and six forward gears. That is more than enough grunt to make any enthusiast happy. You can pout all you want about the fact that the Mk VII GTI has 215 horsepower, but the current MK VI model only has 200 ponies, and it weighs more than the Juke to boot. The Juke will hit 60 in about 6.5 seconds, only a hair away from the Focus ST despite its 50+ horsepower advantage.

This little Nissan can hang with the big-boys, regardless of what that horsepower number says.

Read more about the 2013 Nissan Juke Nismo and see my video review below.

Hyundai might not be among the automakers you should consider when buying a high-performance vehicle, but the South Korean brand is known for rigs like the i20 WRC . Based on the i20 supermini built in countries like Turkey or India, the WRC is the first high-performance car created by the new "N" sub-brand.

The 300 horsepower squeezed out of the 1.6-liter engine proves Hyundai is enjoying great progress and likely previews a bunch of cool, road-going cars that are scheduled to arrive over the next few years. If you think the i20 WRC is an awesome machine, then you will be delighted to find that Hyundai built yet another semi-exotic vehicle.

It goes by the name Veloster Midship, and surfaced at the 2014 Busan Motor Show in South Korea. Unlike the regular Veloster , this model has its powerplant mounted where the rear seats should be. What’s more, Hyundai ditched the 1.6-liter four-pot found in the production car for a larger, 2.0-liter Theta GDI unit. If you’re not familiar with it, the 2.0 GDI motivates the Kia Forte , Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe .

But make no mistake, the Midship’s plant is anything but regular. The Koreans did some tweaking and forced it to generate 295 horsepower. Pair that amount of oomph with a lightweight, aluminum suspension and a more rigid chassis, and you’re looking at some sort of super-hatchback .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Hyundai Veloster Midship Concept.

Audi has rolled out a suit-and-tie-dressed A1 Sportback at Worthersee , highlighting the enormous customization potential the German automaker is putting on its Genuine Accessories lineup. This particular A1 with Audi Genuine Accessories successfully combines a nice shade of black with splashes of yellow trim, creating a distinct two-tone look we rarely see from the A1.

Audi traditionally rolls out these kinds of products at Worthersee and its nice to see that the German brand still understands the importance of being a major presence in the annual event. The customized hatchback also shines a nice light on what’s possible when customers use Audi Genuine Accessories on their vehicles.

That’s the real good thing about being able to have a say in what your car is going to look like. A1 owners get a number of colors to choose from and you can style and trim it any manner you see fit. There might be some misses along the way, but as Audi has shown with this A1 with Genuine Accessories, there’s a lot owners can work with by taking advantage of the company’s aesthetic personalization program.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A1 With Audi Genuine Accessories.

We know Ken Block has sick drifting skills, but we didn’t know he was still as adept at smoking tires even with the lights turned off. The man famous for his Gymkhana videos definitely proved as much in this new commercial from Castrol Edge.

Block was joined by BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus, GP2 driver Adrian Zaugg, and DTM driver Mike Rockenfeller in this commercial. Together, all four drivers were given a unique challenge: drive their respective vehicles in complete darkness with only their headlights to put the company’s newest and strongest oil to the test.

The challenge looks simple enough until you realize how easy it is to get discombobulated by all the lighting effects, particularly the Laser Box that Block found himself in.

But true to their racing pedigrees, the drivers successfully pulled off all the stunts, capped off by Block doing his own drift tricks inside the Box. It’s definitely worth three minutes of your time, if only to see how Mr. Gymkhana himself manages to balance drifting his car while also enjoying that laser lights show.

Previewed by a concept vehicle at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the next-generation Mini John Cooper Works has been spotted testing Northern Europe since February. More recently, though, the Brits have moved their trials at the Nurburgring track, the perfect environment for a beefed-up hatchback .

Although the spy shots we’ve just received from our paparazzi show a vehicle that has lost most of its camouflage, we’re actually looking at a mule that wears a Cooper S body with a John Cooper Works front bumper attached to it. Still wearing the yellow wrap, the bumper has a more aggressive design and it appears to be identical to the one seen on the concept car.

The lighter, 18-inch aluminum wheels also carry a new design, but the upcoming hot hatch will receive more distinct features, such as a new rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, roof spoiler and side skirts. These features are likely to find their way on the prototype as development continues this summer.

Motivation will be provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that’s expected to crank 231 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That’s 13 ponies more than the outgoing model and just enough for the vehicle to reach 60 mph from a standing start in less than six seconds.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini John Cooper Works.

The hot hatch segment has become increasingly competitive these days with so many automakers fielding competitive models. Mazda has seen all the action taking place and has yet to release a performance version of the Mazda3 since unveiling its new design. Now it’s looking like a new Mazda3 MPS — closely related to the Mazdasoeed3 here in the U.S. — is near and it’s going to be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that may have 325 horsepower.

The news comes from CarsGuide, which reported the Japanese automaker is pushing ahead with plans for a Mazda3 MPS to join the growing hot hatch battle featuring the Ford Focus ST , the Volkswagen Golf GTI, and the Honda Civic Type-R , among other models.

A separate report from Japanese magazine Holiday Auto also suggested that despite repeated denials from Mazda, the automaker will turbocharge the new Mazda3 MPS, meaning that it stands to get an extra dose of power to be able to compete with its rivals.

The challenge for this new model is how Mazda can pair its SkyActiv engine range with a turbocharger, something it has had problems doing in the past. But a source in Japan told Holiday Auto the problem has "already been solved," clearing a hurdle in developing a turbocharged, new-generation Mazda3 MPS.

With that issue reportedly out of the way, Mazda has an easier developmental road in equipping its newly redesigned hatch with a drivetrain to compete with other hot hatchbacks currently on the market. The timetable for the car’s release is still anyone’s guess at this point, but there are those who believe the car should be ready to arrive in 2016. This gives Mazda two years to cover the entire development and production phase of the Mazda 3 MPS.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda3 MPS.

*Image Note: 2012 Mazda3 MPS shown here.

Source: CarsGuide

Only one year has passed since Nissan revived its Datsun brand by introducing the GO hatchback , and the Japanese manufacturer has just confirmed its return to the compact car segment (C-segment in Europe) with a brand-new vehicle.

Dubbed Pulsar, a name previously used for a line of compact cars sold in Asia and Australia since 1978 (not to be confused with the Pulsar NX sports car marketed in the U.S. between 1983 and 1990), the new vehicle is a five-door hatchback aimed at models such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus .

Nissan ’s recipe for the Pulsar is pretty much simple and includes an instantly recognizable design with styling cues borrowed from the Qashqai , small, turbocharged engine that deliver decent power and return attractive fuel economy, and a price tag that’s likely to put the hatchback below most of its competitors.

A big bet for the Japanese automaker in Europe, the Pulsar is basically insignificant to the U.S. market, with Nissan having no plans to ship it across the ocean. This might very well change depending on vehicle’s success in Europe, but we’re at least a couple of years away from a pertinent verdict. Either way, the Pulsar is a hatchback worth looking at, and that’s what we’re about to do after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Pulsar.

Ever since Gran Turismo announced the Vision Gran Turismo Concepts last year, only two manufacturers have unveiled their video game-only concepts . On May 23rd, that number goes up to three, as Volkswagen announced that it was unveiling its own virtual Golf GTI that it created exclusively for Gran Turismo 6.

Volkswagen is keeping its concept on lock down until the end of the week, at which time we’re all going to finally see that superb hot hatch concept that’s been pining to be unleashed in GT6.

Ahead of its much-awaited debut, Volkswagen has released a teaser video of the concept, or at least the process that resulted in the creation of the concept. We don’t actually see it until the end of the video, and it only offered a short glimpse of what we’re all in store for, but the little we saw already has us salivating to see it in full guise, complete with the prominent front splitter, the large wheels, and the roof-mounted spoiler.

Added bonus goes to the old line of Golf GTI models that Mattel Hammerbeck and Domen Rucigaj, the two people behind the creation of the concept, were driving in the game. Kind of made us nostalgic for those old hatches.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Vision Gran Turismo.

Oh Mini Cooper and its infinite number of look-alike models. It appears from these spy shots, the BMW sub-brand is further expanding its lineup with this five-door version of the standard hatchback, yet not to be a replacement for the Clubman. We say that because it’s seemingly parked next to a new, third-generation Clubman five-door.

This blue model coated in a yellow, swirly wrap still has its hatch-like trunk area, while getting the two extra side doors. It’s not clear what exactly separates the two side-by-side cars except their boots, but they are definitely being developed together. The car itself also appears to have gained some extra width with, surely helping its interior volume and passenger comfort.

Of course this new Clubman hatchback will join the slew of other Mini products in the coming months. It’s possible the cars will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show happening sometime in September, but that’s pure speculation. Just stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on Mini’s ever-expanding lineup of not-so-small cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 5-Door.

Introduced in 2012, the Veloster Turbo isn’t the nimble hatchback Hyundai was hoping for. At least not against more popular choices like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST .

That being said, we’re not at all surprised that the Koreans are revamping the compact for the 2015 model year. Spotted during testing for the second time the past week — this time at the Nurburgring track — the Veloster Turbo will adopt some of the styling cues seen on the recently unveiled 2015 Genesis, which our Mark McNabb took for a drive last month.

The visual updates will consists of an enhanced front grille, reshaped bumpers, and revised headlamps and taillights. It will also include a set of fancier, bi-color wheels for some added style. We’ve already seen the latter in the first batch of spy shots, but we’ll have to wait a bit longer to gain access to the full pictures.

The cabin is another area that won’t remain untouched, with an updated Supervision Cluster to replace the current unit. The overall configuration of the interior isn’t likely to change much, but expect more soft-touch surfaces and options to appear.

Things shouldn’t change much under the hood, where the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine will continue to deliver 201 turbocharged horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Veloster Turbo.


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