If you’re looking for a hardcore hot hatch and you’ve got about £40,000 to spend, you’re not stuck for choice.
But, in what is such a wonderfully rich segment, which one should you go for? Well if straight-line shenanigans are your thing, today’s drag may go some way to helping you answer that.
Lining up on the left is the Renault Megane R.S Trophy. This version of the hot hatch gets a load of chassis enhancements, but those aren’t too relevant here. The key focus is the 1.8-litre turbocharged engine it’s packing — producing 300hp and 420Nm of torque.
That’s dumped to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, with the Megane weighing in at 1,368kg.
It does have slightly porkier opposition from the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport sat in the middle. This tips the scales at 1,461kg and is ever so slightly down on grunt compared with the Megane.
With a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine onboard, it does match peak horsepower at 300hp though has less torque at 400Nm, which gets sent to the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
To the right of both of these European hot hatches though is a fierce competitor from Japan. This is the Honda Civic Type R in slightly more focused Limited Edition guise. This uses the same 2.0-litre turbocharged lump as the standard car, with 320hp and 400Nm, though sheds weight thanks to the removal of soundproofing and air-con.
That makes the Type R the lightest of the trio a 1,358kg. However, it’s also the only car here with a manual gearbox — so the driver could prove to be the difference here.
Which of these hot hatches is king, then? Well, watch on to find out…
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