It is a rare scenario that carmakers introduce a performance version of a vehicle here in the Indian market. And if by any chance the company decides to do so, these cars are either overpriced or are underpowered. And the performance cars that make sense buying in India are performance hatchbacks. Why? Considering most of the performance cars are CKD or CBU units, they are expensive. And hatchbacks save us a little for the automotive taxes. Being an automotive fan, we know there exist hot hatchbacks around the world, that we wish should come to India.
Toyota GR Yaris
Flying our minds to japan, the first vehicle on this list we want in India is the Toyota GR Yaris. Let me tell you, this is nowhere near the Yaris sold here. To begin with, this vehicle is a hatchback that comes with a powerful engine with an AWD drivetrain. Talking about the engine hot hatch comes with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine that generates a whopping 257bhp and about 360Nm of maximum torque.
An AWD drivetrain transmits (gets a 6-speed manual transmission) the power from the 3 cylinder engine to all the 4 wheels. Also, the powertrain can propel the vehicle from 0-100kmpl, in just 5.5 seconds. That much power plus a small form factor equals the perfect track machine.
Honda Civic Type-R
Still staying in japan, the hatchback that needs no introduction is the Honda Civic Type-R. Civic Type-R is not just a powerful hatchback, this is among the vehicles that hold a lot of records on many racing tracks, one of which is the Nurburgring in Germany. Also, Honda Civic Type-R is among the fastest production FWD cars in India.
The production-spec Honda Civic Type-R gets a 2.0-litre 4 cylinder i-VTEC engine. This motor can generate 306bhp of max power and 400Nm of peak torque. And they are the front wheels that are powered by a 6-speed manual transmission.
Ford Fiesta ST
Now coming down on power, we also have an option of Ford Fiesta ST. This hatch shares its DNA with the rally-spec Fiesta. Meaning, Ford Fiesta ST handles like a dream and out on city roads is a breeze to drive. The car offers all these features, without compromising on spirited driving.
That said, along with great power to weight ratio, the car gets a peppy 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine that is capable of generating 197bhp of max power. Additionally, the torque sits at 290Nm. Now, this free-revving engine can accelerate this hot hatch from 0-100kmpl in about 6.5 seconds.
Renault Magane RS280
Landing on the French turf, we have Renault Magane. In the car community, after Civic Type-R it is Renault Magane that is famous for its ride and outride performance. Another interesting fact is that a while back, Renault set a lap time of 7 minutes 40 seconds at the Nurburgring. This makes the Magane R.S. the fastest FWD hot hatch to go around the track.
But a thing to note is that the Renault Magane sat in a little different state of tune. Speaking of the engine, the one we want in India is the R.S. 280 which comes with a 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine. This motor produces, 276bhp of max power and 390Nm of peak torque. The Renault Magane RS280 cars reach 100kmph from 0 in about 5.9 seconds.
One of the cars, that we think might come to India is the Hyundai i20N. just after the launch of the new-gen Hyundai i20 in India, the Korean carmaker launched the N-line of the hatchback. Although the i20 N is not the most powerful hatchback nor it holds many records. But it surely is a potent vehicle that is capable of hot laps around a track.
Peeping under the hood, the i20 N gets a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine that pushes 204hp of peak power and 270Nm of maximum torque. And considering its size and power the i20 achieves not to 100kmph in about 6.7 seconds.
Volkswagen Polo GTI
We did taste the Volkswagen GTI in flesh in our country a while back, and oh boy! I definitely was a car for hooligans. like I said before, the one sold in India as a CBU unit that was imported in India in a limited amount.
So being an import, the hatch was a lot expensive. But keeping that aside, all of the above problems is history when sitting behind the wheel. One of the reasons for this is the 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine that puts out 207bhp of max power and 320Nm of peak torque.
Suzuki Swift Sports
Now shifting our focus to the Suzuki Swift sports. Well, don’t mistake this little hot hatch with the Swift that is sold in India. But most of the instincts about the exterior of the Swift Sports resemble the one in India. And with some minor changes, definitely, the car will look like one.
But the thing that is not that easy to change is the machine under the hood. Popping hood we’d witness a 1.6-litre 4 cylinder turbo petrol engine that churns 135bhp of max power and 260Nm of peak torque. With the 6-speed transmission, the engine transfers the power to only the front wheels. That said, the Suzuki Swift Sports is capable of reaching 100kmph from a standstill in less than 8 seconds.
Fiat Abarth 500
The Italian carmaker Fiat did try to boost the hot hatch segment in India with their Fiat Abarth Punto. With that, the company also introduced a premium small hatch, the Abarth 500. Again being an import, prices were about 100% higher compared to its rivals.
But that said, this carmaker no longer have business in India, in the international market they have further refined the vehicle for 2020 and 2021. Fiat Abarth 500 comes with a 1.4-litre turbo petrol 4 cylinder engine. This motor pushes 160bhp of max power and 230Nm of peak torque.