High-Performance Hatchbacks Tested In Drag And Rolling Races

High-Performance Hatchbacks Tested In Drag And Rolling Races

A series of high-performance hatchbacks duke it out to see which one is the fastest.We’ve got a big lineup to discover, so let’s get to it! On the far left is the new BMW M140i, the hottest hot hatch that BMW makes. Under the hood is a 3.0-L turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic (although a 6-speed manual is available) with the whole car weighing in at around 3,500 lbs.

Next up is the Mercedes-AMG A35, which comes with a 2.0-L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder with 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty is done in 4.7 seconds on its way to a limited top speed of 155 mph. Power goes to all wheels through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Next from the left is the Volkswagen Golf R. The sportiest of Golfs comes with a 2.0-L turbo 4-banger with 296 hp, while the Audi S3 right next to it has the same engine but puts down 306 hp. Both have AWD and a 7-speed automatic.

And finally, we have the Ford Focus RS. This little pocket rocket comes with a 2.3-L turbo 4-cylinder with 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, making it easily the most powerful ride of the lineup. Power goes to all wheels thanks to a 6-speed manual transmission, which may be the car’s only downside during this race.

With launch control engaged for each vehicle, we start with a standard quarter-mile race. While the Focus gets the best start of the 5 hot hatches, it soon falls behind as the Audi and Golf R crawl ahead.

But then the Mercedes gets a second wind while the Golf starts to lag. Once the finish line arrives, it’s the Audi S3 with a final time of 13.2 seconds, followed by the Mercedes A35 in 13.5 seconds. The BMW M140i and Golf R tied for third at 13.5 seconds, while the Focus came in last at 13.8 seconds.

Next the rolling race, where the BMW won handily. We have to assume that the Focus driver was a little inexperienced with the manual transmission to lose that badly to a lineup of less powerful vehicles.

In the brake test, we see the Audi driver cheat just a little bit to give the Mercedes the win. But really, even though the Focus lost, we'd still choose it over any of the other cars shown.


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