A New Volkswagen Golf GTI Is Coming with 287 Horsepower
With the Volkswagen Golf 8 here to stay for a while, it was only a matter of time before Volkswagen started declining it into various guises. Hotter guises, that is.
Among those, the first one to make a debut is, according to a recent report coming from Autocar, the Golf GTI. It will be followed by the GTD, which will supposedly share the stage too in Geneva, and later on (read summer 2020) by the Golf R.
Audi Will RS Almost Everything, Including SUVs, As Long As It Doesn’t Have a Four-Cylinder
If there’s anything we’ve all been itching to see from Audi, it’s a hotter version of the A1 Sportback – an RS1 to be exact. With the second generation kicking of in 2018, we were hoping that after being fully established on the market, Audi’s resident supermini would finally get the hot hatch treatment that it deserves. Unfortunately, Audi has come right out and said that, despite the fact that it’s going to go all out on RS-badging its SUV lineup, the A1 will always be an A1. There won’t be a warmer S1, and there definitely won’t be a hotter RS1.
2020 Toyota GR Yaris
Whenever a carmaker takes out the good stuff out of its know-how box and spreads its on a new car, well, that’s when you know you’re in for a treat. That’s exactly what Toyota did with the GR Yaris, its second global GR-badged car after the Supra GR and at the same time a homologation model that will sometime in the future spawn a fully-blown rally racer.
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTi - Driven
We have been itching to get behind the wheel of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk. 8 and would really love to try out the yet-to-be-released Mk. 8 Golf GTi, but we’ve been told we still have to wait a while. To make things good, however, and hold us over, Volkswagen decided to send out an MK. 7 2019 Golf GTi and, while it wasn’t exactly what we wanted, we have to admit that the week we spent with it was beyond memorable.
As you can see from the photo gallery organized into the slider above and the page below, the Golf GTi, even in its older design, is quite the looker. It’s attractive from all angles, and the interior really gives you the feeling that you’re sitting in a proper hot hatch. The flat-bottom steering wheel and eight-inch infotainment displayed helped in the regard, but the overall fitment of the seats and materials put together one hell of a package.
The 2.0-liter turbo-four under the hood isn’t the most powerful four-cylinder on the block – the title is reserved for the Mercedes-AMG A45S – but it’s powerful enough to keep just about any enthusiast happy at 228 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen claims that’s good for a 5.7-second sprint to 60 mph, but we actually got there around one-tenth faster. More impressive than that is the fact that this baby is as nimble as can be. The 35.8-foot turning circle means it can turn on a dime (this is much better than both the Focus ST and i30 N that it competes with) while the 5.1-inch ride height feels like the sweet spot in terms of dealing with typical road conditions.
All told, our week with the Golf GTi isn’t one that we’ll forget, and we can’t wait to try out the MK.8 to see just how Volkswagen will manage to improve. Until that happens, though, you can enjoy our massive photo gallery. We’re busy putting together an in-depth review on the 2019 golf GTi, so be sure to check back in with us soon to learn the finer details!
Renntech Can Push the Mercedes-AMG A45 Up to Nearly 600 Horsepower
Dealing with the car industry for so long, we learned the only valuable lesson one needs to know when it comes to tuning: some people will never be satisfied with a stock car’s oomph, be it a fully-fledged performance vehicle created by one of the world’s most revered divisions around the most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine currently in series production… in the world.
German tuner Renntech, who’s been tweaking AMGs since 1989, had a stab at the new Mercedes-AMG A45 which, by everyone’s standards, was doing just fine in stock form. The result sees the lava-hot hatch churn out up to around 600 horsepower, but lighter tuning kits are also available if you don’t need that kind of ego boost.
2020 Mercedes-AMG A45
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 is the range-topping version of the fourth-generation A-Class hatchback. Unveiled in 2019, it slots above the AMG A35 in the range thanks to a more powerful engine, a more aggressive exterior, and extra equipment on the inside. Powered by a redesigned version of the AMG-tuned four-cylinder engine that cranks out 382 horsepower, the 2020 AMG A45 is the most powerful A-Class to date. But for the first time ever, Mercedes-Benz introduced an S-badged version of the hatchback, with even more power. In this tune, the AMG A45 delivers an amazing 416 horses, more than any other hot-hatch on the market as of 2020. This four-cylinder is also the most powerful of its kind in production, as well as the engine with the highest horsepower per liter. Let’s find out more about the 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 in the comprehensive review below.
Drag Race: Hyundai i30 N vs. Renault Megane RS
In one lane, you have the Hyundai i30N with a 2.0-liter, force-fed, four-banger that’s good for 271 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. In the other lane, you have the Renault Megane RS with a 1.8-liter, force-fed, four-banger that’s good for 276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. The Megane RS manages to hit 62.1 mph in 5.8 seconds while the i30 N will make the same sprint in 6.1 seconds. Both cars are driven at the front wheels and both have a six-speed manual transmission. On paper, the two cars are very similar, but the Megane RS and it’s five extra ponies are also able to benefit from a slightly lower curb weight.
With all of this in mind, putting these two cars nose-to-nose on a drag strip will undoubtedly give us one hell of a close race, and that it did. Naturally, the lighter and more powerful Megane RS gets quite the jump on the baby Hyundai, but the i30 manages to make up a lot of ground over a short piece of asphalt. So, does the i30 N have enough oomph to get the lead by the time the flag drops? Well, one finishes the quarter-mile in 14.44 seconds and the other does it in 14.89 seconds – watch the video to see who manages to take home the win!
What We Know About the Mid-Engined 2022 Hyundai N Sports Car
For the better part of a decade (since 2014, to be specific), Hyundai has been teasing us with a stand-alone N-branded halo car that would feature a mid-engine configuration and hatchback body. We’ve seen four concepts – the RM14, RM15, RM16, and most recently, the RM19 – and now we’ve received even more information that helps us paint a clear picture of what we can expect from the N halo car and when we can expect to see it. The future is here folks, and Hyundai’s affordable sports car isn’t far off. Here’s everything we know about it!
See How the BMW M135i Stacks Up Against the Mercedes-AMG A35 in a Drag Race
Mercedes-AMG and BMW have two very able hot hatches in their stables – the A35 4Matic and the M135i xDrive, respectively. The M135i xDrive has been on fire lately and is literally racking up victories in most of the races it’s been part of. But, the A35 is no slouch either.
So, what happens when you pit the two against each other in a drag race? The folks at Car Magazine South Africa decided to find out, and you will be quite surprised with the result.
2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk8 GTI
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI may still be the most popular hot-hatchback out there, but it’s getting a bit long in the tooth after more than four years on the market. With Ford already working on a new-generation Focus ST, which will be significantly more powerful than the current Golf GTI, Volkswagen needs to roll out a new hatchback really soon. Fortunately, the Germans are already testing the next-generation Golf GTI, which is rumored to break cover sometime in 2019.
Not much is known about the upcoming performance hatchback, but it should borrow many design features seen on recently introduced Volkswagen models, including the sporty Arteon sedan. The company also promises a revolution inside the cabin, including a "total digital environment," according to design chief Klaus Bischoff. Set to use a revised version of the company’s MQB platform, it will also a new engine with power ratings of up to 250 horsepower. Let’s find out more about that in the speculative review below.
Updated 12/30/2019: The 2021 Volkswagen Golf MK8 GTI was caught doing some cold-weather testing with next to no camo and zero padding. Check out the new images and the latest details in our spy shots section below!
Nissan Says Merry Christmas By Turning the Leaf into a Rolling Christmas Tree
The Nissan Leaf is taking on a different form in time for the holiday season. For this specific occasion, Nissan converted a Leaf electric hatch into a fully lit Christmas tree, complete with 190 meters of utensil, over 15,000 lights, and, well, a reindeer.
No longer called the Nissan Leaf, the Japanese automaker dubbed its creation the Nissan Tree, a fitting homage to the Yuletide season that’s coming. For obvious reasons, the Nissan Tree is not for sale so don’t start asking Santa Claus for one.
Elon Musk Should Buy The Tesla Cybertruck’s Door Glass From Volkswagen - It’s Stronger: Video
Do you remember the glass shattering saga from the Cybertruck launch? Of course, you do. How can one forget that embarrassing moment on stage when the whole world was watching the much-anticipated event live, right? It sent everyone into splits but garnered so much hype that even non-auto enthusiasts were talking about it. Tesla: 1, The Public: 0.
Not the point here, though. The Cybertruck might boast armored glass windows, but what about normal windows on normal cars? A video on YouTube has appeared wherein the admin of CarHax decided to use ‘weapons of destruction’ on a standard Volkswagen Golf’s glass. You will be shocked to see how much abuse it can withstand.
The 2021 Focus RS Will Push Into Mild-Hybrid Territory and Move Beyond Hot Hatch Classification
I know you’re already bummed that the Ford Focus Hatch isn’t long for the U.S. market, and, I’m sorry to tell you, depression is about to set in even worse. We now have word from Car Magazine that the next-gen Focus RS is arriving soon and, even better yet, it’s being pushed into 400-horsepower, mild-hybrid territory. Will the new Focus RS feature a drift mode? Well, it’ll be better than that! This baby will ride like a hardcore hatch and accelerate like a true-to-life sportscar. Does it get any better than this?
2019 Peugeot 208 - Driven
We don’t have to tell you that Europe’s supermini segment is one of the toughest, cutthroat arenas in the car world, despite the fact that crossovers based the said superminis are poaching clients at a fast rate, just like they did with the sedan segment. In this context, Peugeot launched the new 208. No, it didn’t change its name to 209 as we would have expected, and that’s because Peugeot thinks the previous 208 had so much success that the same nameplate should stay for the new generation, too.
The French carmaker is adamant that the 208 is primarily a city car and, in accordance to that creed, Sochaux took all the measures it saw fit to make its new hatchback as appealing as possible. The fact that it will have to do battle against the likes of VW Polo, Renault Clio, Ford Fiesta, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, and Dacia Sandero counted a lot in the general direction Peugeot led the new 208. We had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the sleek-looking hatch during a first-contact test drive, so here’s what we can report.
2020 MINI Cooper SE Picture Gallery
Mini is attempting to take the electric car market by storm, and it’s doing so with the 2020 Mini Cooper EV – a model that Mini claims it already has 15,000 orders for on the U.S. market alone. It comes with a 32.6 kWh battery that Mini says is good for 168 miles of range – a figure that’s considerably lower than the competition The Nissan Leaf +, for example, offers up 226 miles while the Chevy Bolt delivers 238 miles.
Range aside, the Mini Cooper EV has a single electric motor that’s good for 181 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. Mini claims it’ll hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, so highway merging should be simple enough, but top speed is limited to 110 mph.
The interior isn’t all that different from the standard Cooper, but it does come with the 6.5-inch navigation system. There’s also a new “Dynamic Digital Instrument cluster” with a digital speedo and new indicators for charge level and range. Overall, however, the Cooper EV is a mini through and through.
As far as charging goes, there’s going to be a little bit of compromise. If you use the standard charging cable that Mini considers “occasional” and plugs into a standard 120-volt outlet, you’ll get a full charge in 24 hours. Us the TurboCord and a 240-volt outlet, and you’ll get a full charge overnight or in about 8 hours. The Level 2 home charger, that you’ll undoubtedly have to pay for, gives you a full charge in about 4 hours. A DC public charger system will give you an 80-percent charge in 40 minutes, so you’ll at least be okay out and about.
Making the Case for a Tesla Cybercar
The Tesla Cybertruck put the car industry in shock with its outlandish design,incredible performance, and the best range ever announced by the American automaker. All this at an incredible starting price of $39,000! The Cybertruck quickly prompted rumors that Tesla could also create its cheapest model yet, thanks to its revolutionary exoskeleton: enter the Cybercar. That new vehicle would be perfect to serve as the Robotaxi fleet Elon Musk talked about in recent years, but what would a Cybercar look like and what will it bring to the market?
2022 Mercedes EQ B
Mercedes’ lineup of electric crossovers and SUVs continues to take shape with a fresh batch of spy photos of a model that looks a lot like the Mercedes GLB-Class. Except this isn’t the GLB; this is the GLB’s all-electric alter ego, the EQ B. The spy photos were taken in Sweden where the EQ B is undergoing winter testing. Mercedes hasn’t divulged the juicy details of the EQ B, but it is believed that, among other things, it will largely take the form of the GLB, albeit with a few minor tweaks to reflect is all-electric stature. No timetable has been given on when the Mercedes EQ B will launch, but we do know that the all-electric crossover will not hit the U.S. market until 2021.
2020 Renault Megane R.S.
Revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the current-generation Renault Megane R.S. is due for its mid-life nip and tuck. The coming of such a revamped model is backed up by a set of photos sent it by our spy photographers, who caught the French hot hatch completely free of camouflage during what looks a lot like a pre-production test run.
In all fairness, we don’t expect Renault to operate a lot of changes on the facelifted Megane R.S., which is already a mature model both in terms of exterior design and drivetrain. The cockpit, however, does leave some room for improvement especially in the technology and material quality areas. Renault knows this all too well and is surely working to tweak things in this regard, but take a closer look at the spy shots and you’ll spot a couple of other cosmetic changes as well. Let’s check them out.
2019 Hyundai i10 N Line
The 2020 Hyundai i10 N Line is a performance-oriented trim of the third-generation hatchback. A range-topping model in the current lineup, the 2020 i10 N Line slots above the regular i10 and will fill the gap between the standard hatchback and the upcoming i10 N. The 2020 i10 N Line is the fourth Hyundai to sport the "N Line" badge as of December 2019. It joins the i30 N Line, the i30 Fastback N Line, and the Tucson N Line. The N Line is essentially a package that adds some exclusive features to the 2020 i20. Performance-wise, it’s not a full-fledged N model, but it does benefit from an exclusive turbo three-cylinder mill that adds extra oomph over the standard powertrains. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.
Hyundai’s Latest Veloster-based Mid-Engined Track Beast Previews Road Model
Hyundai is no longer the maker of dull, uninspiring imports that people bought because of the low MSRP. Nowadays, the automaker is among the five biggest in the world and has pushed to conquest new grounds building on its reputation as a purveyor of reliable cars that are also cheap to run and maintain. With the N line, Hyundai has proven to the world that it can also make fast cars and its RM, which stands for Racing Midship, range of prototypes has just been enriched with the RM19, the latest and most outlandish member of the breed. Better yet, Hyundai is tipped to put a mid-engined sports car into production after years of exploring the architecture via its RM rolling laboratories. Time to get excited!
So, let us put it this way: at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show, Aston Martin, famed builder of some of the best, fastest, and most exquisite British sports cars and supercars, unveiled an SUV. A sporty SUV at that but an SUV nonetheless. Hyundai, a brand considered by most to be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Aston Martin, took the wraps off a track-bound mid-engined sports car. We already know what model you want to know more about and it’s not the bulky Aston DBX. Yes, the automotive world is turning on its head in more ways than one as we speak.
2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Driven
The reborn, retro-chic, Fiat 500 first graced North American shores back in 2011 and now, eight years down the line, we got behind the wheel of the peppy Abarth version to get one final sting from the scorpion as the entire 500 range is being discontinued by Fiat-Chrysler. Prepare for some top-down driving as we assess whether we’ll miss the 500 for what it is or for its vibe akin to an endless summer holiday in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP Is Every Bit as Wild as We Thought It Would Be
MINI is in attendance at the 2019 Los Angeles with the 2020 John Cooper Works, the fastest and most powerful production MINI ever created. The souped-up version of the MINI John Cooper Works was built with performance in mind, delivering the kind of power and ferocity never before seen in a production MINI. The hot hatch also benefits from important aerodynamic upgrades, but it’s the introduction of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine — the most powerful engine ever fitted in a production MINI — that sets the 2020 John Cooper Works GP apart. Only 3,000 units of the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP will be built with each unit priced from $44,900. Deliveries of the 2020 MINI John Cooper Works GP begin in March 2020.
There’s Nothing Better Than Watching This Honda Z600 Rip Up an Indoor Go-Cart Track
Go-karting is super fun with those tiny, low-slung, low-power karts ripping the specifically-designed tracks. But what happens when you bring around a mainstream hatchback and drive it there? Just think about it. It sounds so much fun. Obviously, you’ll need precision and impeccable driving skills to actually have fun; or else it could get really frustrating when you have to reverse your car on a sharp turn. Well, here’s a video uploaded by LeMans Karting where you can see a 1972 Honda Z600 being ripped around an indoor go-kart track. Guess it’s time to move on from those big, bulky builds from SEMA and enjoy this cargasmic video in the shrunken reality.