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.

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.

About a month ago French automaker Renault revealed plans to break the eight-minute mark around the Nurburgring track with a front-wheel-drive vehicle prepped by its performance arm, Renault Sport.

Our first thought went toward a beefed-up version of the Megane as soon as we saw the first teaser shot released by Renault . Now that the vehicle has been finally unveiled, we got confirmation that the French have been working on a new iteration of the RS Trophy .

Developed specifically to regain its Nurburgring record from the Seat Leon SC Cupra 280 , which lapped the iconic track in 7:58.4 minutes, the Megane RS 275 Trophy will be sold as a limited-edition hatchback with exclusive features and a slightly more powerful engine.

Renault has yet to announce whether the new Megane Trophy managed to restore its rule on the "Green Hell" and it appears we’ll have to wait for an official statement on June 16. Until then, let’s have a closer look at the hot hatch we won’t be seeing in the United States, where Renault isn’t likely to return too soon.

Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy.

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer may have been a disappointing appearance to most brand enthusiasts, due to its front-wheel-drive layout, but the Bavarian manufacturer hopes to score big with the compact MPV in both North America and Europe.

The regular 2 Series Active Tourer, which is powered by a tiny, 1.5-liter, inline-three unit rated at 136 horsepower, will be followed by an M Sport version with a plug-in hybrid model to arrive shortly after.

Unlike its gasoline-exclusive counterparts, which will require an xDrive option to get all four wheels moving, the plug-in hybrid will feature an all-wheel-drive setup by default. Although BMW has yet to reveal any details, the same three-cylinder engine is likely to be in charge of the front axle, while an electric motor will be added to take care of the rear wheels.

Total output is expected to sit around the 200-horsepower mark, with 136 horsepower coming from the conventional mill and the rest provided by the silent, battery-powered motor. As for mileage, the Active Tourer Plug-in Hybrid should return at least 50 mpg when using both units, though it won’t be able to travel more than around 20 miles in EV mode.

Styling-wise, the hybrid version won’t be any different than the gasoline Active Hybrid, with only a few badges to highlight its greener nature. The MPV has already been spotted testing in Germany so we might see it in production form by the end of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Plug-In Hybrid.

Launched in 2012 as Hyundai ’s first compact with a turbocharged engine, the Veloster Turbo is being facelifted for the 2015 model year, with a camouflaged prototype already stretching its wheels around the company’s research and development center in Germany .

Although details are scarce and the vehicle is hidden under a thick wrap, it’s more than obvious that the Veloster Turbo is getting the same Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 treatment as the company’s larger, premium cars.

The update will begin with a new, larger front grille and will continue with a revised front bumper and headlamps. Round back, the rear bumper and the taillights will also change shape.

What we can see in these spy shots is a set of new wheels, which come in a twin five-spoke format and are finished in a bi-color pattern. A great improvement over the fan-like, cheap-looking rims offered on the current compact .

Some interior updates are likely to be implemented as well, beginning with a revised Supervision Cluster and ending with more soft-touch surfaces and other amenities that keep a cabin modern.

Engine-wise, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Hyundai keeping the 1.6-liter four-pot at 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A small improvement in fuel economy — now standing at 27 mpg city and 38 mpg highway — is likely though.

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


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