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.
At the 2010 Geneva Motor ShowAudi expanded its lineup with the addition of a new small, city car: the A1. Initially offered in a three-door version, the model was soon followed by a five-door variant called the Sportback. Since then, the model remained basically unchanged, except the addition of some special editions, like the A1 Amplified.
The A1 measures less than 4 meters (157.5 inches) in length, making it the perfect car for today’s crowded cities. In fact, the A1 was already voted best-in-class by several German magazines. Despite its compact sizes, the A1 features powerful engines and an agile chassis making it the sportiest car in the segment. The A1 also offers enough interior room for five adults.
The A1 is offered with a choice of seven engines - four TFSI and three TDI units - all of them combined with start-stop system.
On the European market, the A1 is priced from €15,800 - roughly $21,000 at the current exchange rates. Unfortunately, the model is still not offered on the U.S. market.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A1.
The Kia Forte5 is the forthcoming hatchback variation of last year’s new Forte sedan but packs some interesting and timely updates that make this one of the few hot hatches offered in the U.S. market. The highlights include a powerful turbocharged engine, sophisticated front and rear LED lighting, and a cabin with some boy-racer appeal via carbon-fiber-style surfaces and a six-speed manual box.
Let’s face it: hot hatches just aren’t sexy here. As much as our Euro counterparts get excited about the Fiesta ST, there’s a collective “huh?” in U.S. showrooms over the same car. It just seems too tall, too narrow and diminutive for someone to commit to years of payments. The Honda Civic Si is about as close to the recipe as possible and even this is only offered in staid sedan or also-staid coupe bodywork.
This is set to change with the new Forte5. The name is the dorkiest part: the style of low, crisp and wide proportions makes this car look more like a slammed Sportage or Cayenne than an econobox. The mechanical packages on the Kia show a half-step improvement versus corporate sibling Hyundai, with the turbo engine finally delivering some of the sportiness Kia says defines its products.
So where does the Forte5 site within the Forte line that also includes sedans and coupes? Right in that hot-hatch sweet spot, just moved a little further toward “cool” from the embarrassing current hatchbacks: the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Spark.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Forte5 ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealers at the end of summer 2013.
The C-Max is Ford’s first Hybrid-only model and comes in two mechanical configurations: Hybrid and ‘Energi’ Plug-in Hybrid. Bringing the heat to Toyota’s popular Prius and the Chevy Volt, the C-Max fills a solid gap in the marketplace among consumers who won’t settle for the other cars’ many limitations.
C-Max sales are ramping up steadily and the C-Max is on track to be Ford’s best-selling hybrid model of all time by the end of 2013, based on current year-to-date sales and projections. Granted, Ford has some major ground to make up versus the Prius lineups, which has topped 200,000 sales annually in recent years.
The first-to-market advantage of the Prius continues today with the model family taking 58 percent of the market share for hybrid-electric cars. Despite its utter dominance of the segment so far, there’s no reason that the Prius should set the template for all PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) or simpler full hybrids. As shown by the Tesla Model S, there really is a better way. Driving a hybrid shouldn’t have to mean total misery on the road. Would anyone choose a Prius if it didn’t get amazing mileage? No way.
Living somewhere between the Prius and Prius V models, the C-Max offers some real advantages versus its archrivals from Toyota.
Ford’s bringing its fun-to-drive C-Max to crash the dull Prius party. With more space and more family-friendly packaging than the Focus, but all of its enthusiasm for corners, the C-Max pair will continue to gain ground in the sales battle among eco-keen drivers.
Click past the jump for the full C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi review, detailed specs and jumbo image gallery.
Our spy photographers caught the Cooper S testing on the public roads in Germany, and just like with the standard Cooper, it has started showing the front bumper, redesigned headlights, and the new taillight graphics.
The next Mini Cooper will be built on BMW’s new UKL platform that will also be shared with the next-generation BMW 1 Series and will be offered in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions. For the first time, Mini will offer a new family of three-cylinder engines, along with the usual four-cylinder ones.
The new-generation Mini Cooper will make its world debut in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. For the first time, the Cooper will be offered in ten different body versions.
Click past the jump to read more about the next Mini Cooper.
In recent years, the mark for hyper cars has been 1,000 horsepower, which is completely unreal. Now, to achieve this insane output, mot automakers are strapping multiple-turbocharged V-8, V-10 or V-12 powerplants into their cars. For us normal folk that cannot afford these $1 million-plus cars, we have to perform some creative engineering to reach numbers even reaching the supercar standard of 600 horsepower. And most of the time, that includes a crate-engine swap.
Well, the folks over at Boba Motoring in Germany have a bucked the trend by squeezing an amazing 1,013 horsepower from an Mk I (1974 through 1983) Volkswagen Golf. It didn’t do so by dropping a nasty V-8 into a hacked up engine compartment; rather, it tweaked a 1.8-liter to this insane number. This KR 16-valve 1.8-liter, which was one of the many engines offered in the Mk II Golf, received some heavy mods, including: 144 mm (5.6-inch) long steel con rods; an 86.4 mm (3.40-inch) stroke crankshaft; an 80.98 mm (3.18-inch) bore; an updated intake with eight injectors powered by a KMS MD35 injection-ignition system; an 80 mm (3.15-inch) throttle body; an updated exhaust system; and a Garrett GTX4202R turbocharger that pushes through 4.25 bar (61.6 psi) of pressure.
The engine delivers the power through VW’s 4Motion driveline and out to all four wheels. Not only is this beast powerful, but the 4Motion system assures a breakneck launch every time.
On top of all of that, Boba Motoring also managed to drop the Mk I Golf’s weight to just 900 kg (1,984 pounds), making this a true pocket rocket.
The light weight, massive power and awesome traction all deliver outlandish performance. This one-time throw-away car now hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2 seconds and 200 km/h (124 mph) in 5 seconds. The 1/4-incle is no contest, as it tears that apart in just about 8 seconds at 240 km/h (149.12 mph).
Click past the jump to see this beast running the dyno and out on its first test since the tune to 1,000 horsepower.
Now that we have seen the new generation Mazda6, the Japanese company is focusing on the development of the new generation Mazda3. The model is set to arrive late in 2013 or earlier in 2014 and will benefit from the company’s latest Kodo design language already seen in the new Mazda6 and the facelift version of the CX-9.
This means the next Mazda3 will adopt a prominent black grille and a more aggressive headlamps, while that ugly Cheshire-cat grin from the current model will finally be dropped. It will be built on the same lightweight architecture as the recently announced CX-5 and will be powered by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv four that delivers a total of 155 HP, among other gasoline engine variants. Mazda also has plans on offering a diesel engine.
Clients who want a sportier alternative will still have the Mazdaspeed 3 to look forward to, but they will have to wait a few more months to see it on the market.
Updated 06/04/2013: A scanned Japanese magazine has surfaced online revealing what appears to be the first images of the new-generation Mazda3. As no surprise, the new model will feature the same design language as the Mazda6, with more angular lines and a more prominent grille. You can see the image after the jump(Autotribute)
Mini is expanding its Countryman lineup with the addition of a new ALL4 version based on the standard Cooper version. The new model will be put on sale in July 2013 and will increase the number of all-wheel-drive versions within the Mini model range to 10 models.
The new Countryman ALL4 is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with an output of 122 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic transmission and sends its power to all four wheels via a permanent all-wheel-drive system. With this new system, the driver has full control of the car on snow, sand or slippery surfaces, and will also enjoy extra grip on twisty roads.
The Countryman ALL4 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 11.9 seconds with a manual transmission or 11.7 seconds with the optional automatic, and will be capable of hitting of 114 mph.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Mini Countryman.
The A-Class may not be the hottest model that Mercedes-Benz has to offer, but the German luxury car builder’s resident hatchback is certainly worthy of a few tunes. At least, that’s how RevoZport feels about it.
With this, the folks from RevoZport present to you the RZA-290 kit, which is chock-full of aero components to make your 2013 A200 and A250 with the AMG body kit look even better. Over the course of six months RevoZport designers and builders developed: a front splitter; canards to help direct airflow to the oil cooler and radiator; side skirts to add a little downforce along the side of the hot hatch; and a carbon-fiber hood with vents for lowered weight and optimal cooling.
Around the backside, the tuner added in a revised diffuser with quad exhaust tips peeking out, a 3D under spoiler that is available in red or carbon to add some extra downforce, and a massive GT wing to push the backside even harder toward the tarmac and add a pretty bad-ass look.
No tune worth a hill of beans is complete with a few extra ponies, and RevoZport is not one to disappoint. The tuner added in a piggy-back ECU remap that you can remove, if needed; a carbon-fiber air-intake system; and a full exhaust system that includes a downpipe and high-flow cat made from stainless steel and the rest made from lightweight titanium. This tune is good enough to take the A250 - sorry, the A200 is left out of this part - from its base 211 horsepower to 290 horsepower.
Click past the jump to see more about the RZA-290 kit up close
The new program for Ford’s resident sports hatchback is available for 2013 models and beyond. It comes with a plethora of new components that give the Focus ST some pretty impressive aesthetic and performance credentials.
The most impressive thing about this program is that despite what you already see, Roush Performance is still working on other parts for the Focus, including suspension components, powertrain control module (PCM) upgrades, together with wheels and tire combos, and interior and exterior accessories.
For now, what it has already speaks to its impressive work on the pocket rocket of a sports hatchback.
Click past the jump to read more about what Roush Performance did to the Ford Focus ST
If Mini has no official entry for the 2013 Pikes Peak it does not mean there won’t be any Mini at the famous race. French driver Jean-Philippe Dayraut will enter the race in a Mini "No Limit" Pikes Peak race car.
Last year he completed the race in the Dacia Duster and it looks like this year it decided to give it another try. The car he will use this year it is pretty much identical to the model used last year, but for the 2013 race he opted for a Mini skin.
When compared to the model raced last year, the new Mini "No Limit" received a series of improvements. Dayraut and his team worked on making the car about 176 pounds lights, while the engine delivers a total of 900 horsepower.
The 2013 Pikes Peak is still more than one month away and we are hopping to get full details on this car until then.
Click past the jump for two presentation video of the car.