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  1. 1973 Simca 1100TI Meet the world’s first Uber hatch - it has a 1.3-litre engine, breathes through two Weber carburettors and makes 82 horsepower. Not much by modern standards, but when it landed in 1973 its sub 12-second 0-60mph time and 105mph top speed was trouser-tightening stuff. It also involved all the fripperies of future attempts to spice up a family hatch - reinforced clutch, stiffer shocks, bigger brakes and special paint (called ‘Sumatra Red’, fact fans). Alas, the 1100TI never made it to England, and it may look a bit depressing, but this, dear internet, was genesis… 2, 1976 Renault 5 Gordini This little Renault’s launch date pipped the Golf GTI’s by a few months, so it just slips in as the icon’s predecessor. It got a 1.4-litre engine - mounted well behind the front wheels for better balance - making 92bhp, which could hit 60mph in 9.7 seconds and topped out at 104.7 mph. It also had other hot essentials like front and rear spoilers and BIG SHOUTY RACING STRIPES. Called the Gordini in Britain and the Alpine everywhere else, it had the potential to be a full-blown legend. If it weren’t for the success of the Golf, people would talk about this car in the same way as the Mk1 GTI. 3, 1976 Golf GTI Mk1 Introduced in 1976, the Mk1 GTI is often considered the spiritual father of hot hatchery. And while it wasn’t the first, it was one of the earliest, polished fast hatchbacks. Lightweight construction meant it could outrun Ferrari 308s on country lanes, and a 0-60mph time of 9seconds meant it wasn’t far behind at the lights. And you could get a chest of drawers in the boot. 4, 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI After launching in 1984, the little Pug quickly built a fine reputation for its free-revving 1.6-litre four-pot engine and tendency for lift-off oversteer. Like the Golf GTI, 104 horsepower seems piffling by modern standards, but a 900 kg kerbweight meant it was mighty quick in its day. 5, 1991 Lanica Delta Integrale After the insanity of Group B rallying, the following - and altogether more conservative - Group A regs limited cars to 2.0-litre engines, 300 horsepower, and the need to be built from a far greater percentage of, y’know, road car… Which is why Lancia integrated the Delta into its rallying program, changing the hot hatch landscape once again. In road trim it made 207 horsepower, it got to 60mph in 5.7 seconds and topped out at. Sadly, the Integrale was only available in left-hand-drive only and this stopped it being a big seller in Britain. 6, 1997 Daihatsu Cuore TR-XX Avanzato R Meanwhile in Japan, a unique translation for hot hatch was developing. As well as building quick versions of normal-sized hatches, several manufacturers turned their attention to their ‘kei’ cars - baby-engined minicars designed to comply with stringent tax and insurance regs. When the TR-XX was released, there was a 660cc displacement limit, and 3.3-meter by 1.4-meter size limit. Which is worth remembering when you take into account it’s 63bhp output. But anyone that’s played Gran Turismo will know that the combination turbocharged engine, permanent four-wheel drive, and sub-Elise kerb weight made it a hilariously addictive, if not out and out fast. 7, 2002 Ford Focus RS Souped up models from the Blue Oval have always been loitering around the British performance market, and the Focus has played a huge part. Ford dropped the RS name after the Escort but with the poor sales of Racing Pumas the moniker was resurrected and a new lineage of fast Fords began. Ford were so determined to make it faster than the slightly less hot ST170 they handed it over to their rally team. They changed 70 per cent of the parts resulting in a car with a turbocharged four-pot engine not far off WRC specs. It could hit 60mph in 6.3 seconds, a top whack of 144mph, and obscene amounts of torque steer. 8, 2008 Renault Megane R26.R As the swan song for the second gen Megane, the R26.R needed to go with a bang, which explains why the Renaultsport 230 Renault F1 Team R26.R was 123 kg lighter than the normal RS, had 227 horsepower, a full cage, six-point harness and plastic windows. Not so much a hot hatch, but a boiling one. 9, 2013 Audi A1 Quattro The Germans have a reputation for making very good, very dull cars. But, every so often they losen their grip on sanity. A recent example being this 250 horsepower, four-wheel drive supermini that can hit 62mph in 5.7 seconds and go on to 152 mph. Thing is, it’s a little… pricey. £40,000, to be precise. And even if you could stomach the money, you can’t have it - only 333 examples were made and just 19 are coming to Britain. 10, 2013 Renault Clio RS 200 There are several Clios that deserve a mention here - the RenaultSport 172, the bonkers V6, and the Clio Williams. But it’s the most recent incarnation that gets the final mention. It’s a controversial step in the hot hatch’s development because you can only get it with four doors and a paddle-shift ‘box. There’s still 197bhp, 177lb ft of torque, 0-62 mph comes in 6.7 seconds, and it tops out at 143 mph. But has the spec limitation narrowed the appeal? Over to you, TopGear.commers. Source: Top Gear Magazine View full article
  2. 1973 Simca 1100TI Meet the world’s first Uber hatch - it has a 1.3-litre engine, breathes through two Weber carburettors and makes 82 horsepower. Not much by modern standards, but when it landed in 1973 its sub 12-second 0-60mph time and 105mph top speed was trouser-tightening stuff. It also involved all the fripperies of future attempts to spice up a family hatch - reinforced clutch, stiffer shocks, bigger brakes and special paint (called ‘Sumatra Red’, fact fans). Alas, the 1100TI never made it to England, and it may look a bit depressing, but this, dear internet, was genesis… 2, 1976 Renault 5 Gordini This little Renault’s launch date pipped the Golf GTI’s by a few months, so it just slips in as the icon’s predecessor. It got a 1.4-litre engine - mounted well behind the front wheels for better balance - making 92bhp, which could hit 60mph in 9.7 seconds and topped out at 104.7 mph. It also had other hot essentials like front and rear spoilers and BIG SHOUTY RACING STRIPES. Called the Gordini in Britain and the Alpine everywhere else, it had the potential to be a full-blown legend. If it weren’t for the success of the Golf, people would talk about this car in the same way as the Mk1 GTI. 3, 1976 Golf GTI Mk1 Introduced in 1976, the Mk1 GTI is often considered the spiritual father of hot hatchery. And while it wasn’t the first, it was one of the earliest, polished fast hatchbacks. Lightweight construction meant it could outrun Ferrari 308s on country lanes, and a 0-60mph time of 9seconds meant it wasn’t far behind at the lights. And you could get a chest of drawers in the boot. 4, 1984 Peugeot 205 GTI After launching in 1984, the little Pug quickly built a fine reputation for its free-revving 1.6-litre four-pot engine and tendency for lift-off oversteer. Like the Golf GTI, 104 horsepower seems piffling by modern standards, but a 900 kg kerbweight meant it was mighty quick in its day. 5, 1991 Lanica Delta Integrale After the insanity of Group B rallying, the following - and altogether more conservative - Group A regs limited cars to 2.0-litre engines, 300 horsepower, and the need to be built from a far greater percentage of, y’know, road car… Which is why Lancia integrated the Delta into its rallying program, changing the hot hatch landscape once again. In road trim it made 207 horsepower, it got to 60mph in 5.7 seconds and topped out at. Sadly, the Integrale was only available in left-hand-drive only and this stopped it being a big seller in Britain. 6, 1997 Daihatsu Cuore TR-XX Avanzato R Meanwhile in Japan, a unique translation for hot hatch was developing. As well as building quick versions of normal-sized hatches, several manufacturers turned their attention to their ‘kei’ cars - baby-engined minicars designed to comply with stringent tax and insurance regs. When the TR-XX was released, there was a 660cc displacement limit, and 3.3-meter by 1.4-meter size limit. Which is worth remembering when you take into account it’s 63bhp output. But anyone that’s played Gran Turismo will know that the combination turbocharged engine, permanent four-wheel drive, and sub-Elise kerb weight made it a hilariously addictive, if not out and out fast. 7, 2002 Ford Focus RS Souped up models from the Blue Oval have always been loitering around the British performance market, and the Focus has played a huge part. Ford dropped the RS name after the Escort but with the poor sales of Racing Pumas the moniker was resurrected and a new lineage of fast Fords began. Ford were so determined to make it faster than the slightly less hot ST170 they handed it over to their rally team. They changed 70 per cent of the parts resulting in a car with a turbocharged four-pot engine not far off WRC specs. It could hit 60mph in 6.3 seconds, a top whack of 144mph, and obscene amounts of torque steer. 8, 2008 Renault Megane R26.R As the swan song for the second gen Megane, the R26.R needed to go with a bang, which explains why the Renaultsport 230 Renault F1 Team R26.R was 123 kg lighter than the normal RS, had 227 horsepower, a full cage, six-point harness and plastic windows. Not so much a hot hatch, but a boiling one. 9, 2013 Audi A1 Quattro The Germans have a reputation for making very good, very dull cars. But, every so often they losen their grip on sanity. A recent example being this 250 horsepower, four-wheel drive supermini that can hit 62mph in 5.7 seconds and go on to 152 mph. Thing is, it’s a little… pricey. £40,000, to be precise. And even if you could stomach the money, you can’t have it - only 333 examples were made and just 19 are coming to Britain. 10, 2013 Renault Clio RS 200 There are several Clios that deserve a mention here - the RenaultSport 172, the bonkers V6, and the Clio Williams. But it’s the most recent incarnation that gets the final mention. It’s a controversial step in the hot hatch’s development because you can only get it with four doors and a paddle-shift ‘box. There’s still 197bhp, 177lb ft of torque, 0-62 mph comes in 6.7 seconds, and it tops out at 143 mph. But has the spec limitation narrowed the appeal? Over to you, TopGear.commers. Source: Top Gear Magazine
  3. Forum Newbie

    Welcome @Stealthmode Good to see someone venturing across! I'm off to make a Golf R v RS3 thread to take the heat of the VWROC embarrassing thread!
  4. New four-door RS3 gets R8-like acceleration and a 174mph top speed. “It was born on the track, built for the road,” explains new Audi quattro boss Stephan Winkelmann. What he’s talking about is the brand new 395bhp Audi RS3 saloon. Sorry, sedan. Because it’s built - as TG.com told you a while back - for the United States. And China. In fact, Audi reckons it’ll sell more of these RS3 saloons in the USA and the Asia Pacific region than in Europe, though we’ll still be able to buy it here. Good. The RS3 saloon packs the lovely 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine up front. It’s the lighter, tuned-up unit we’ve seen in the new TT RS, with a whopping 395bhp and 354lb ft of torque. It’s not just more powerful than the outgoing RS3 hot hatch, it’s the most powerful five-pot engine in production today. A five-door RS3 Sportback will follow with the same drivetrain, but further down the line. Allied to a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and permanent four-wheel-drive (naturally), the RS3 saloon is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 4.1secs, and derestricted, will run onto 174mph. Our experience of the TT RS is that it accelerates even quicker than Audi claims. This should be sub-four-second saloon, then. There’s lots of dynamic handling adjustment here too, along with new software for the ESC that brakes the inside wheel during fast cornering. We’re even promised “controlled drifting” in Sport mode, though the TT RS didn’t quite live up to similar claims when we drove it, with only half of available power able to go to the rear axle. But it was still a heck of a lot more engaging than the car that went before it, so we’d hope this is the most interesting RS3 to drive, too. It’s 25mm lower than the basic A3, gets monster 370mm discs and eight-piston calipers up front, and 310mm discs at the back. 19ins are standard, though you can spec wider tyres at the front. The track is wider than standard of course, with those flared arches present, and it sports a singleframe Audi grille with the all-important quattro badge, along with massive exhausts at the back. The Paris show car blipped the engine to give the audience a taste, and it sounded rather fruity. Good fruity. Inside you get the usual Audi RS treatment – which is a good thing – including a 12.3in high res monitor, and the option of the virtual Audi cockpit as seen in the R8. There are many connections too, to things like Google Earth and what have you, though you’ll be too busy enjoying its wonderful five-cyinder soundtrack to care, we imagine. Interestingly, it’ll be launched in the USA and China next summer as an ‘Audi Sport’ model. It’s the first model to launch under the new tag, which replaces the Quattro gmbh division, in name at least. Audi’s topmost performance cars - RS models and the R8 - as well as its official motorsport activities and customer racing support all fall under ‘Audi Sport’. Reckon this RS3 saloon is a worthy car to kick it off? http://www.topgear.com/car-news/paris-motor-show/audi-has-built-400bhp-rs3-saloon-and-it-fast View full article
  5. “It was born on the track, built for the road,” explains new Audi quattro boss Stephan Winkelmann. What he’s talking about is the brand new 395bhp Audi RS3 saloon. Sorry, sedan. Because it’s built - as TG.com told you a while back - for the United States. And China. In fact, Audi reckons it’ll sell more of these RS3 saloons in the USA and the Asia Pacific region than in Europe, though we’ll still be able to buy it here. Good. The RS3 saloon packs the lovely 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine up front. It’s the lighter, tuned-up unit we’ve seen in the new TT RS, with a whopping 395bhp and 354lb ft of torque. It’s not just more powerful than the outgoing RS3 hot hatch, it’s the most powerful five-pot engine in production today. A five-door RS3 Sportback will follow with the same drivetrain, but further down the line. Allied to a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and permanent four-wheel-drive (naturally), the RS3 saloon is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 4.1secs, and derestricted, will run onto 174mph. Our experience of the TT RS is that it accelerates even quicker than Audi claims. This should be sub-four-second saloon, then. There’s lots of dynamic handling adjustment here too, along with new software for the ESC that brakes the inside wheel during fast cornering. We’re even promised “controlled drifting” in Sport mode, though the TT RS didn’t quite live up to similar claims when we drove it, with only half of available power able to go to the rear axle. But it was still a heck of a lot more engaging than the car that went before it, so we’d hope this is the most interesting RS3 to drive, too. It’s 25mm lower than the basic A3, gets monster 370mm discs and eight-piston calipers up front, and 310mm discs at the back. 19ins are standard, though you can spec wider tyres at the front. The track is wider than standard of course, with those flared arches present, and it sports a singleframe Audi grille with the all-important quattro badge, along with massive exhausts at the back. The Paris show car blipped the engine to give the audience a taste, and it sounded rather fruity. Good fruity. Inside you get the usual Audi RS treatment – which is a good thing – including a 12.3in high res monitor, and the option of the virtual Audi cockpit as seen in the R8. There are many connections too, to things like Google Earth and what have you, though you’ll be too busy enjoying its wonderful five-cyinder soundtrack to care, we imagine. Interestingly, it’ll be launched in the USA and China next summer as an ‘Audi Sport’ model. It’s the first model to launch under the new tag, which replaces the Quattro gmbh division, in name at least. Audi’s topmost performance cars - RS models and the R8 - as well as its official motorsport activities and customer racing support all fall under ‘Audi Sport’. Reckon this RS3 saloon is a worthy car to kick it off? http://www.topgear.com/car-news/paris-motor-show/audi-has-built-400bhp-rs3-saloon-and-it-fast
  6. evo Verdict When road, driver and conditions gel as one in the new Civic Type R, this is a hugely exciting car. At other times it can feel wooden, artificial and not as quick as the numbers suggest. Understanding why, and best exploiting the car in any given situation, may be a reason for buying one in itself, but overall it still feels like a car that just misses the mark. From its deeply divisive styling to its intense personality, the Civic Type R is a complex beast. Looks are always subjective, but it remains to be seen whether buyers at this price point will be swayed by the Honda’s more awkward angles. The cabin is a combination of great seats, gearshift and driving position, but an ergonomic layout that’s an acquired taste. Perhaps more serious are occasional dynamic foibles that call into the question the Civic’s dynamic repertoire when driven hard, and an engine that’s not without its shortcomings. Tying the more aggressive engine mapping to an overly stiff damping setting in +R is another obvious blunder. To access the best Civic, on UK roads at least, you're best leaving that +R button well alone. >Read our Ford Focus RS review evo Tip Honda suspects the majority of buyers will opt for the GT pack, which adds satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control and various safety systems over and above the large equipment roster in the standard car. It won’t affect the way the car drives but might make it more pleasant to live with day to day. evo Comment ‘While the old car’s balance was biased towards understeer, this version is more neuatral from turn-in to apex and also considerably more playful and responsive to a sharply lifted throttle or a keenly judged brake input, making it more engaging and enjoyable along a road. ‘While some will mourn the loss of the high-revving engines, the more progressive should instead celebrate the most complete Civic Type R yet.' Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor (evo 211). It's also worth pointing out, the Honda Civic Type-R placed 10th in our 2015 Car of the Year test. The Seat Leon Cupra Ultimate Sub 8 was the only hatch in front of it, coming in 8th. Performance and 0-60 time > Turbo power helps make this the fastest Civic ever, by quite some margin. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R performance here Engine and gearbox > A slick manual gearbox and broad range of torque are standout features of the new Type R. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Engine and gearbox here Ride and handling > Pressing the +R button stiffens damping up too much for UK roads. The chassis is composed enough without. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Ride and handling here MPG and running costs > Respectable MPG and emissions figures are countered by expensive tyre replacement costs. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R MPG and running costs here Prices, specs and rivals > The VW Golf R and Vauxhall Astra VXR are tough competition. But the Honda remains unique. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-r prices, specs and rivals here Interior and tech > Some will dislike the busy dash, but everyone can appreciate the sorted seating position. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Interior and tech here Design > The Honda's brash styling will be a swaying factor for many buyers. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Design here View full article
  7. evo Verdict When road, driver and conditions gel as one in the new Civic Type R, this is a hugely exciting car. At other times it can feel wooden, artificial and not as quick as the numbers suggest. Understanding why, and best exploiting the car in any given situation, may be a reason for buying one in itself, but overall it still feels like a car that just misses the mark. From its deeply divisive styling to its intense personality, the Civic Type R is a complex beast. Looks are always subjective, but it remains to be seen whether buyers at this price point will be swayed by the Honda’s more awkward angles. The cabin is a combination of great seats, gearshift and driving position, but an ergonomic layout that’s an acquired taste. Perhaps more serious are occasional dynamic foibles that call into the question the Civic’s dynamic repertoire when driven hard, and an engine that’s not without its shortcomings. Tying the more aggressive engine mapping to an overly stiff damping setting in +R is another obvious blunder. To access the best Civic, on UK roads at least, you're best leaving that +R button well alone. >Read our Ford Focus RS review evo Tip Honda suspects the majority of buyers will opt for the GT pack, which adds satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control and various safety systems over and above the large equipment roster in the standard car. It won’t affect the way the car drives but might make it more pleasant to live with day to day. evo Comment ‘While the old car’s balance was biased towards understeer, this version is more neuatral from turn-in to apex and also considerably more playful and responsive to a sharply lifted throttle or a keenly judged brake input, making it more engaging and enjoyable along a road. ‘While some will mourn the loss of the high-revving engines, the more progressive should instead celebrate the most complete Civic Type R yet.' Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor (evo 211). It's also worth pointing out, the Honda Civic Type-R placed 10th in our 2015 Car of the Year test. The Seat Leon Cupra Ultimate Sub 8 was the only hatch in front of it, coming in 8th. Performance and 0-60 time > Turbo power helps make this the fastest Civic ever, by quite some margin. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R performance here Engine and gearbox > A slick manual gearbox and broad range of torque are standout features of the new Type R. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Engine and gearbox here Ride and handling > Pressing the +R button stiffens damping up too much for UK roads. The chassis is composed enough without. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Ride and handling here MPG and running costs > Respectable MPG and emissions figures are countered by expensive tyre replacement costs. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R MPG and running costs here Prices, specs and rivals > The VW Golf R and Vauxhall Astra VXR are tough competition. But the Honda remains unique. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-r prices, specs and rivals here Interior and tech > Some will dislike the busy dash, but everyone can appreciate the sorted seating position. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Interior and tech here Design > The Honda's brash styling will be a swaying factor for many buyers. Read all about the Honda Civic Type-R Design here
  8. What we’re dealing with here is a timely reminder from Ford that the Fiesta ST is still the car to beat in the supermini hot hatch sector – no matter what kind of fancy paint job and limited-slip differential might be available from rivals. Though come to think of it, making the Fiesta ST200 exclusively available in a kind of gloss primer grey might just be a joke at the attention-seeking Peugeot 208 GTi’s expense. The colour is officially called Storm Grey and contrasts nicely with the machine-finished 17-inch black alloys that the ST200 also comes with as standard. But the visual appeal here is most definitely secondary to performance upgrades, which include a revised chassis, shorter gearing and a nominal output of 197bhp. Why does the phrase ‘nominal output’ make me suspicious? Like the regular Fiesta ST, which puts the figure 179bhp down on its insurance form, the 197bhp Fiesta ST200 has an overboost function. Which means if you go the full Hulk smash on the accelerator pedal you’ll get an addition hit of 15bhp for up to 20 seconds, bringing the total to 212bhp. Ditto the torque, which rises from an already engorged 214lb ft (20% up on standard) to 236lb ft for the same maximum time period. This brings the ST200’s actual potency up to the same level as the Fiesta ST Mountune tuning kit That too sounds somewhat fishy… Indeed. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Ford and Mountune worked very closely together when developing the original Mountune kit – to such an extent in fact that, according to the ST200’s programme chief, the intellectual property rights remained with Ford. This allowed it to easily implement a similar strategy of intake mods and software jiggery-pokery in this instance. Mountune remains Ford’s officially endorsed partner, however, so don’t think there’s been a falling out. Come on then – what’s the Fiesta ST200 like to drive? Mega. In order to really make the most of the engine’s extra muscle, Ford has changed the final drive ratio from 3.82 to 4.06 – which has the effect of shortening each of the gears in the six-speed manual transmission, significantly improving in-gear acceleration. Third is now a mighty, mighty thing, and overtaking has become even easier. But as ever with the Fiesta ST, it’s the chassis that really does the damage. With Ford’s voodoo-like torque vectoring electronics managing traction, your ability to get hard back on the power almost as soon as you’ve finished braking for a corner makes short work of even the most technical switchbacks, while the chassis revisions have only enhanced the ST’s uncanny ability to help you get out of almost any unexpected situation. It seems there was some concern that the back of the ST was too ‘aggressive’. So Ford has stiffened the rear torsion beam by 27%, fitted a thicker front anti-roll bar (21mm instead of 19mm), and recalibrated the steering to match. These alterations then allowed the engineers to reduce the spring and damper rate, making the ST softer, and better able to deal with sudden bumps and camber changes. Yet you can still use the throttle to adjust your cornering line, and the ST still grips like a limpet in a bucket of superglue. Just when you think it’s going to understeer, it doesn’t – the resulting corner-exit velocity (admittedly on French tarmac, in the dry) scarcely seems believable from the driver’s seat. It can’t all be good, surely? Well, there is a bit of body roll – but once you’ve got beyond wondering how fast an ST could corner on smooth tarmac if the set-up was stiffer, you really begin to appreciate not only its ability to soak up lumpy surfaces but the amount of extra information about grip levels the lean angle is giving. For the steering, while certainly precise, doesn’t present you with a great deal of feedback on its own. Fortunately, the ST200 is a car best flown by the seat of your pants, the ankles of which are presumably on fire. To this end, it is also slightly frustrating that the gear-change mechanism feels rather rubbery, and that the narrow, widely spaced pedals aren’t entirely conducive to lazy heal and toeing. This last might be a kind of commentary on you braking too early, however, since the spacing makes more sense when you go hard and late. The ST200 really does like to be flogged like a posthumous pony. Anything else special about the Fiesta ST200? In addition to the engine and gearing changes, standard kit includes unique ‘Charcoal’ Recaro seats and illuminated ST200 sill plates. 0-62mph in 6.7sec is 0.2sec faster than the standard ST – though still 0.3sec slower than the Mountune. Then there’s the price… How much is the Fiesta ST200? £22,745. HOW MUCH? £5k more than an entry-level Fiesta ST, and exactly the same price as an entry-level Focus ST. Which has 247bhp. The Mountune kit for the regular Fiesta ST costs £599 plus approximately an hour’s labour for fitting. Just FYI. All that chassis stuff must be unique to the ST200, then? Er, no. As it turns out, Ford couldn’t justify the expense of sending two different chassis setups down the production line, so it actually snuck the suspension changes onto the standard ST last year. Without telling anyone. Apparently it didn’t want to ruin the ST200 surprise. The shorter final drive is unique to the ST200, though. Verdict Tough one, this. On the one hand, the Fiesta ST200 is great fun to drive and has that air of exclusivity such special editions tend to bring. On the other, it costs £22,745, every ST gets the same chassis, and production isn’t limited, so it won’t be particularly exclusive after all. In the end, the punters will decide – and on that score, Ford has nearly 3000 orders already… View full article
  9. Ford Fiesta ST200

    What we’re dealing with here is a timely reminder from Ford that the Fiesta ST is still the car to beat in the supermini hot hatch sector – no matter what kind of fancy paint job and limited-slip differential might be available from rivals. Though come to think of it, making the Fiesta ST200 exclusively available in a kind of gloss primer grey might just be a joke at the attention-seeking Peugeot 208 GTi’s expense. The colour is officially called Storm Grey and contrasts nicely with the machine-finished 17-inch black alloys that the ST200 also comes with as standard. But the visual appeal here is most definitely secondary to performance upgrades, which include a revised chassis, shorter gearing and a nominal output of 197bhp. Why does the phrase ‘nominal output’ make me suspicious? Like the regular Fiesta ST, which puts the figure 179bhp down on its insurance form, the 197bhp Fiesta ST200 has an overboost function. Which means if you go the full Hulk smash on the accelerator pedal you’ll get an addition hit of 15bhp for up to 20 seconds, bringing the total to 212bhp. Ditto the torque, which rises from an already engorged 214lb ft (20% up on standard) to 236lb ft for the same maximum time period. This brings the ST200’s actual potency up to the same level as the Fiesta ST Mountune tuning kit That too sounds somewhat fishy… Indeed. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Ford and Mountune worked very closely together when developing the original Mountune kit – to such an extent in fact that, according to the ST200’s programme chief, the intellectual property rights remained with Ford. This allowed it to easily implement a similar strategy of intake mods and software jiggery-pokery in this instance. Mountune remains Ford’s officially endorsed partner, however, so don’t think there’s been a falling out. Come on then – what’s the Fiesta ST200 like to drive? Mega. In order to really make the most of the engine’s extra muscle, Ford has changed the final drive ratio from 3.82 to 4.06 – which has the effect of shortening each of the gears in the six-speed manual transmission, significantly improving in-gear acceleration. Third is now a mighty, mighty thing, and overtaking has become even easier. But as ever with the Fiesta ST, it’s the chassis that really does the damage. With Ford’s voodoo-like torque vectoring electronics managing traction, your ability to get hard back on the power almost as soon as you’ve finished braking for a corner makes short work of even the most technical switchbacks, while the chassis revisions have only enhanced the ST’s uncanny ability to help you get out of almost any unexpected situation. It seems there was some concern that the back of the ST was too ‘aggressive’. So Ford has stiffened the rear torsion beam by 27%, fitted a thicker front anti-roll bar (21mm instead of 19mm), and recalibrated the steering to match. These alterations then allowed the engineers to reduce the spring and damper rate, making the ST softer, and better able to deal with sudden bumps and camber changes. Yet you can still use the throttle to adjust your cornering line, and the ST still grips like a limpet in a bucket of superglue. Just when you think it’s going to understeer, it doesn’t – the resulting corner-exit velocity (admittedly on French tarmac, in the dry) scarcely seems believable from the driver’s seat. It can’t all be good, surely? Well, there is a bit of body roll – but once you’ve got beyond wondering how fast an ST could corner on smooth tarmac if the set-up was stiffer, you really begin to appreciate not only its ability to soak up lumpy surfaces but the amount of extra information about grip levels the lean angle is giving. For the steering, while certainly precise, doesn’t present you with a great deal of feedback on its own. Fortunately, the ST200 is a car best flown by the seat of your pants, the ankles of which are presumably on fire. To this end, it is also slightly frustrating that the gear-change mechanism feels rather rubbery, and that the narrow, widely spaced pedals aren’t entirely conducive to lazy heal and toeing. This last might be a kind of commentary on you braking too early, however, since the spacing makes more sense when you go hard and late. The ST200 really does like to be flogged like a posthumous pony. Anything else special about the Fiesta ST200? In addition to the engine and gearing changes, standard kit includes unique ‘Charcoal’ Recaro seats and illuminated ST200 sill plates. 0-62mph in 6.7sec is 0.2sec faster than the standard ST – though still 0.3sec slower than the Mountune. Then there’s the price… How much is the Fiesta ST200? £22,745. HOW MUCH? £5k more than an entry-level Fiesta ST, and exactly the same price as an entry-level Focus ST. Which has 247bhp. The Mountune kit for the regular Fiesta ST costs £599 plus approximately an hour’s labour for fitting. Just FYI. All that chassis stuff must be unique to the ST200, then? Er, no. As it turns out, Ford couldn’t justify the expense of sending two different chassis setups down the production line, so it actually snuck the suspension changes onto the standard ST last year. Without telling anyone. Apparently it didn’t want to ruin the ST200 surprise. The shorter final drive is unique to the ST200, though. Verdict Tough one, this. On the one hand, the Fiesta ST200 is great fun to drive and has that air of exclusivity such special editions tend to bring. On the other, it costs £22,745, every ST gets the same chassis, and production isn’t limited, so it won’t be particularly exclusive after all. In the end, the punters will decide – and on that score, Ford has nearly 3000 orders already…
  10. Concerned the Mini JCW isn’t hardcore enough for you? Let this new John Cooper Works Challenge ease your fretting. It’s a 100-off limited edition, and it’s been designed and developed in the UK, and it’s only for us lot to buy. Much like the Renault Clio RS16, it’s been put together by a small team of engineers rather than being a product of mainstream development, and it’s designed to deliver “maximum track ability and on-road driving thrills”. As such, there’s some specialist stuff on its spec sheet. There’s adjustable Nitron suspension, bigger Mintex brakes, a Quaife limited-slip differential and lightweight alloy wheels by Team Dynamics. These are all names familiar from motorsport and high-end performance cars, as well as the Mini Challenge race car. The suspension is particularly noteworthy, as it can be tweaked for bump, rebound, ride height and even camber. Given some find the standard JCW unremittingly tough on rough roads, such adjustability holds quite a lot of promise. The front wheels continue to be driven by a 228bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, and the Challenge’s 6.3-second 0-62mph time and 153mph top speed are unchanged over the standard JCW. Disappointing if you want to shout about where your £32,000 has gone in the pub, then, especially given the Challenge is nearly £9,000 more than a standard JCW. But luckily the exterior does all of the shouting for you, with an unsubtle ‘JCW Pro Aerokit’ standard fit. Spoilers, splitters and diffusers are all much more aggressive than before, while the whole thing comes in a silver and carbon colour scheme that can’t be tweaked. In fact, the whole specification is rigidly fixed. You can only have a six-speed manual gearbox, and you can’t add any option, though fancy things like parking sensors and auto lights are fitted, somewhat belying the hardcore nature of everything else. The JCW Challenge launches at Goodwood next week, though is on sale now. Like it? Or is £32k simply bonkers for a Mini? View full article
  11. Concerned the Mini JCW isn’t hardcore enough for you? Let this new John Cooper Works Challenge ease your fretting. It’s a 100-off limited edition, and it’s been designed and developed in the UK, and it’s only for us lot to buy. Much like the Renault Clio RS16, it’s been put together by a small team of engineers rather than being a product of mainstream development, and it’s designed to deliver “maximum track ability and on-road driving thrills”. As such, there’s some specialist stuff on its spec sheet. There’s adjustable Nitron suspension, bigger Mintex brakes, a Quaife limited-slip differential and lightweight alloy wheels by Team Dynamics. These are all names familiar from motorsport and high-end performance cars, as well as the Mini Challenge race car. The suspension is particularly noteworthy, as it can be tweaked for bump, rebound, ride height and even camber. Given some find the standard JCW unremittingly tough on rough roads, such adjustability holds quite a lot of promise. The front wheels continue to be driven by a 228bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, and the Challenge’s 6.3-second 0-62mph time and 153mph top speed are unchanged over the standard JCW. Disappointing if you want to shout about where your £32,000 has gone in the pub, then, especially given the Challenge is nearly £9,000 more than a standard JCW. But luckily the exterior does all of the shouting for you, with an unsubtle ‘JCW Pro Aerokit’ standard fit. Spoilers, splitters and diffusers are all much more aggressive than before, while the whole thing comes in a silver and carbon colour scheme that can’t be tweaked. In fact, the whole specification is rigidly fixed. You can only have a six-speed manual gearbox, and you can’t add any option, though fancy things like parking sensors and auto lights are fitted, somewhat belying the hardcore nature of everything else. The JCW Challenge launches at Goodwood next week, though is on sale now. Like it? Or is £32k simply bonkers for a Mini?
  12. Renaultsport is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style by cramming the powertrain from a Megane RS 275 Trophy-R into an RS Clio. Yes, you read that right – the Megane’s 271bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and six-speed manual gearbox have been jimmied under the Clio’s bonnet. Sounds like it could be a complete handful! Fortunately, the ever-talented Renaultsport has done more than just shoehorn in a delightfully inappropriate powerplant into the small hatchback. For starters, upgrades include race-bred chassis modifications, suspension tweaks and 19-inch wheels. The R.S 16’s adjustable dampers are lifted straight from the Trophy-R, while floating 350mm-diameter front discs and an upgraded braking system derived from the Megane’s Nurburgring pack serve up suitable stopping power. Renault’s raided countless other parts bin for this project, too. The engine, transmission and cooling system are all lifted from the Trophy-R, while the suspension is assembled from adapted parts lifted from the Megane, Kangoo and Espace. Akrapovic stepped up once again to supply a suitable exhaust system, while the engineers worked to ensure the car’s ABS and stability systems functioned as expected. ‘The premise was to design an exclusively Renaultsport vehicle, fitted with the most powerful engine in the range," explained Laurent Dore, manager of the prototype department. ‘The aim was perfectly clear, but the first difficulty concerned the lead-times, which were extremely tight. ‘We created a team made up of experts from Renaultsport Cars and Renaultsport Racing. This little ‘commando’ unit was managed by Maurizio Suppa, an engineer specialising in prototype design.‘ Looks pretty aggressive, too... That’s in part thanks to the Clio’s bodywork being some 60mm wider. Renault had to fit composite flares, in order to clear the taller 19-in wheel and tyre combo. Other cosmetic and aerodynamic tweaks include the fitment of a rear diffuser from the Clio Cup, a rear spoiler to boost downforce and a redesigned front splitter to improve cooling. Completing the high-performance look are bucket seats and six-point safety belt. Renault’s also ditched the air-con and rear bench, cutting weight in an effort to improve the car’s handling and performance. No official word on the amount of weight shed, though... Is it still front-wheel drive? Oh yes – so 266lb ft will be surging with vigour through those front tyres. Given how well the regular RS Clio 200 Turbo and more powerful Meganes deal with their torque, however, we can’t imagine the R.S. 16 will be too unwieldy at full throttle. How fast is it? Renault hasn’t published any performance figures for the new concept but, given that we know how quick the Trophy-R is, you can expect it to perform as follows: 0-62mph: sub-5.8sec Top speed: 158mph+ Will I be able to see it at any point? The Clio R.S. 16 was revealed ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, but it’ll be on display in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 23-26 June. More importantly, are they going to build it? It’s likely that the car will remain a concept for now, given its niche appeal. That said, a lot of parts used in the concept are already available and Renault has history with low-volume, high-performance editions – like the Trophy-R and Clio V6. ‘We all recalled the impact made by Clio V6,’ said RS managing director Patrice Ratti. ‘We wanted to create a technical concept car with extraordinary performance levels but which was more realistically priced. ‘Therefore, we had to keep our feet on the ground and use simple, ingenious solutions to achieve a vehicle that could be type-approved.’ Courtesy of Car Magazine View full article
  13. Renaultsport is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style by cramming the powertrain from a Megane RS 275 Trophy-R into an RS Clio. Yes, you read that right – the Megane’s 271bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and six-speed manual gearbox have been jimmied under the Clio’s bonnet. Sounds like it could be a complete handful! Fortunately, the ever-talented Renaultsport has done more than just shoehorn in a delightfully inappropriate powerplant into the small hatchback. For starters, upgrades include race-bred chassis modifications, suspension tweaks and 19-inch wheels. The R.S 16’s adjustable dampers are lifted straight from the Trophy-R, while floating 350mm-diameter front discs and an upgraded braking system derived from the Megane’s Nurburgring pack serve up suitable stopping power. Renault’s raided countless other parts bin for this project, too. The engine, transmission and cooling system are all lifted from the Trophy-R, while the suspension is assembled from adapted parts lifted from the Megane, Kangoo and Espace. Akrapovic stepped up once again to supply a suitable exhaust system, while the engineers worked to ensure the car’s ABS and stability systems functioned as expected. ‘The premise was to design an exclusively Renaultsport vehicle, fitted with the most powerful engine in the range," explained Laurent Dore, manager of the prototype department. ‘The aim was perfectly clear, but the first difficulty concerned the lead-times, which were extremely tight. ‘We created a team made up of experts from Renaultsport Cars and Renaultsport Racing. This little ‘commando’ unit was managed by Maurizio Suppa, an engineer specialising in prototype design.‘ Looks pretty aggressive, too... That’s in part thanks to the Clio’s bodywork being some 60mm wider. Renault had to fit composite flares, in order to clear the taller 19-in wheel and tyre combo. Other cosmetic and aerodynamic tweaks include the fitment of a rear diffuser from the Clio Cup, a rear spoiler to boost downforce and a redesigned front splitter to improve cooling. Completing the high-performance look are bucket seats and six-point safety belt. Renault’s also ditched the air-con and rear bench, cutting weight in an effort to improve the car’s handling and performance. No official word on the amount of weight shed, though... Is it still front-wheel drive? Oh yes – so 266lb ft will be surging with vigour through those front tyres. Given how well the regular RS Clio 200 Turbo and more powerful Meganes deal with their torque, however, we can’t imagine the R.S. 16 will be too unwieldy at full throttle. How fast is it? Renault hasn’t published any performance figures for the new concept but, given that we know how quick the Trophy-R is, you can expect it to perform as follows: 0-62mph: sub-5.8sec Top speed: 158mph+ Will I be able to see it at any point? The Clio R.S. 16 was revealed ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, but it’ll be on display in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 23-26 June. More importantly, are they going to build it? It’s likely that the car will remain a concept for now, given its niche appeal. That said, a lot of parts used in the concept are already available and Renault has history with low-volume, high-performance editions – like the Trophy-R and Clio V6. ‘We all recalled the impact made by Clio V6,’ said RS managing director Patrice Ratti. ‘We wanted to create a technical concept car with extraordinary performance levels but which was more realistically priced. ‘Therefore, we had to keep our feet on the ground and use simple, ingenious solutions to achieve a vehicle that could be type-approved.’ Courtesy of Car Magazine
  14. Spotted Section?

    @Cupra @almac @Belfast col @invisiblekid The spotted section is now live! Please include the model of uberhatch you have spotted in the thread title
  15. Our favourite hot hatches are, usually, all about purity and mechanical simplicity. This lightweight, no nonsense attitude – perfected by the likes of Renaultsport – has often produced uncompromised, enjoyable hatchbacks. The Focus RS though, follows a completely different principal. Ford has taken high-tech engineering solutions to endow the RS with the ability to harness large amounts of power and drive with the agility of a smaller, lighter car. So the Focus RS might not fit our pre-existing mould for an unadulterated hot hatch. But, with a philosophy more akin to a Nissan GT-R, it’s still a recipe for a lot of fun. evo Tip The standard Recaro seats are very supportive, but look big and a bit ugly. The optional shell-backed items (also by Recaro) are firmer but look excellent and are even more supportive. evo Comment ‘Not once does it get light or floaty over crests or in direction changes, which means you can throw input after input into the car without ever having to wait for it to settle and regain its composure. As it lands in compressions at speed, meanwhile, the suspension soaks up the impact in a single stroke without ever running out of travel.’ Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor Courtesy of Evo Magazine View full article
  16. Our favourite hot hatches are, usually, all about purity and mechanical simplicity. This lightweight, no nonsense attitude – perfected by the likes of Renaultsport – has often produced uncompromised, enjoyable hatchbacks. The Focus RS though, follows a completely different principal. Ford has taken high-tech engineering solutions to endow the RS with the ability to harness large amounts of power and drive with the agility of a smaller, lighter car. So the Focus RS might not fit our pre-existing mould for an unadulterated hot hatch. But, with a philosophy more akin to a Nissan GT-R, it’s still a recipe for a lot of fun. evo Tip The standard Recaro seats are very supportive, but look big and a bit ugly. The optional shell-backed items (also by Recaro) are firmer but look excellent and are even more supportive. evo Comment ‘Not once does it get light or floaty over crests or in direction changes, which means you can throw input after input into the car without ever having to wait for it to settle and regain its composure. As it lands in compressions at speed, meanwhile, the suspension soaks up the impact in a single stroke without ever running out of travel.’ Dan Prosser, Road Test Editor Courtesy of Evo Magazine
  17. Here’s a question for you. What if you really fancy a moderately fast and practical Audi but you don’t want a hatchback or cabriolet, and can’t afford an S4? There can’t be many wandering into dealerships then posing that very same question. Regardless, Audi has an answer for them – in the shape of the S3 Saloon. It’s a niche product for UK shores and, aimed more at the USA, Russia and China, but filling niches is what Audi does best. The sporting saloon has just been overhauled, too, so it’s time to revisit the S3 and see how it stacks up. So what’s new? Put the bodystyle aside for the moment. Despite Audi telling us that it doesn’t like the word ‘facelift’, the entire A3 range has just been facelifted. On the outside this means a slightly revised front and rear end, different headlights, and that’s about it. It does look a more refined design, but you’d need to line up before-and-after A3s to really notice the differences. So, it’s an update for update’s sake rather than a notable revamp. It’s still quicker from 0-62mph than the upcoming S4, too, but the gap’s closed to 0.1 seconds now – because the bigger car is significantly quicker than its predecessor. Is the S3 Saloon pretty much the same as before then? Not exactly. Its flexible four-pot 2.0 now makes a better noise and has ten more horses, offering a total of 306bhp, but that doesn’t make much difference on the road. We didn’t notice the extra go while testing in-gear power delivery, but there is one other crucial upgrade in the updated S3: a new seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox. Its primary function is to improve everyday drivability. It permits a smoother getaway than was possible with the previous six-cog ’box and delivers improved CO2 emissions and fuel economy thanks to the extra ratio. Does it feel any different to drive? The new S3 does feel different when compared to its predecessor. In an effort to distance the S3 from the rest of the range – to make it feel more special and justify some of the price hike - the new dual-clutch gearbox is coupled with a revised Audi-specific wet-clutch Haldex system that differs from every other Quattro in the S3’s line-up. It’s a derivation of the TT’s set-up and works with the stability control system to provide torque vectoring on both axles rather than just the front as before. As a result, when driving quickly in Dynamic mode, the S3 can send more torque to the rear than ever – meaning you’re able to kick the tail out if you’re feeling particularly aggressive. Do so on a track, though: as ever the S3 has mighty levels of adhesion and you’ll need to be going very quickly to get it unstuck and have that tail wagging. Isn’t the S3 an everyday performance car? Yes, so at the other end of the scale there’s a new Efficiency mode that’ll allow the S3 to exclusively employ the front wheels at any time, rather than doing so only at motorway speeds. Again, there are efficiency benefits here. Just keep the S3 out of Dynamic mode if you’re cruising – even on Germany’s well-kept Autobahns we found the ride just about tolerable in the adaptive dampers’ ‘Comfort’ setting. Firming them up further is a bad idea. Nothing has been done to improve the lifeless progressive steering. The steering wheel itself has been changed, though. It now has to control the new-for-A3 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit (also found in the TT), so there are extra buttons to switch between sat-nav view and alter the size of the speedo and rev-counter. What does this facelift update mean for the RS3? Audi’s development engineers wouldn’t be drawn into comment on whether the seven-speed 'box will make it all the way up to the RS, which is due for a nip-and-tuck of its own at some point soon. They did let slip that it’s capable of dealing with more power and torque, however. We wonder whether it’ll be connected to that likeable old five-pot, or if gaining a gear will be countered by losing a cylinder in the name of economy and emissions. Hope not, because the 2.5 is probably the standout feature on Audi’s super-three. Verdict It’s still a very likeable car, this S3 Saloon. There’s a certain Q-car appeal about a three-box car based on a hatchback, and under the skin we found genuine ability in many areas. The new gearbox delivers a leap forward in terms of power delivery, the car’s handling has been improved and the already-smart cabin is further polished with the addition of the Virtual Cockpit. It might be a bit smaller than most other fast saloons on sale, but it’s not much slower and it’s certainly not as common. Courtesy of Car Magazine View full article
  18. Audi S3 Saloon (2016) review

    Here’s a question for you. What if you really fancy a moderately fast and practical Audi but you don’t want a hatchback or cabriolet, and can’t afford an S4? There can’t be many wandering into dealerships then posing that very same question. Regardless, Audi has an answer for them – in the shape of the S3 Saloon. It’s a niche product for UK shores and, aimed more at the USA, Russia and China, but filling niches is what Audi does best. The sporting saloon has just been overhauled, too, so it’s time to revisit the S3 and see how it stacks up. So what’s new? Put the bodystyle aside for the moment. Despite Audi telling us that it doesn’t like the word ‘facelift’, the entire A3 range has just been facelifted. On the outside this means a slightly revised front and rear end, different headlights, and that’s about it. It does look a more refined design, but you’d need to line up before-and-after A3s to really notice the differences. So, it’s an update for update’s sake rather than a notable revamp. It’s still quicker from 0-62mph than the upcoming S4, too, but the gap’s closed to 0.1 seconds now – because the bigger car is significantly quicker than its predecessor. Is the S3 Saloon pretty much the same as before then? Not exactly. Its flexible four-pot 2.0 now makes a better noise and has ten more horses, offering a total of 306bhp, but that doesn’t make much difference on the road. We didn’t notice the extra go while testing in-gear power delivery, but there is one other crucial upgrade in the updated S3: a new seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox. Its primary function is to improve everyday drivability. It permits a smoother getaway than was possible with the previous six-cog ’box and delivers improved CO2 emissions and fuel economy thanks to the extra ratio. Does it feel any different to drive? The new S3 does feel different when compared to its predecessor. In an effort to distance the S3 from the rest of the range – to make it feel more special and justify some of the price hike - the new dual-clutch gearbox is coupled with a revised Audi-specific wet-clutch Haldex system that differs from every other Quattro in the S3’s line-up. It’s a derivation of the TT’s set-up and works with the stability control system to provide torque vectoring on both axles rather than just the front as before. As a result, when driving quickly in Dynamic mode, the S3 can send more torque to the rear than ever – meaning you’re able to kick the tail out if you’re feeling particularly aggressive. Do so on a track, though: as ever the S3 has mighty levels of adhesion and you’ll need to be going very quickly to get it unstuck and have that tail wagging. Isn’t the S3 an everyday performance car? Yes, so at the other end of the scale there’s a new Efficiency mode that’ll allow the S3 to exclusively employ the front wheels at any time, rather than doing so only at motorway speeds. Again, there are efficiency benefits here. Just keep the S3 out of Dynamic mode if you’re cruising – even on Germany’s well-kept Autobahns we found the ride just about tolerable in the adaptive dampers’ ‘Comfort’ setting. Firming them up further is a bad idea. Nothing has been done to improve the lifeless progressive steering. The steering wheel itself has been changed, though. It now has to control the new-for-A3 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit (also found in the TT), so there are extra buttons to switch between sat-nav view and alter the size of the speedo and rev-counter. What does this facelift update mean for the RS3? Audi’s development engineers wouldn’t be drawn into comment on whether the seven-speed 'box will make it all the way up to the RS, which is due for a nip-and-tuck of its own at some point soon. They did let slip that it’s capable of dealing with more power and torque, however. We wonder whether it’ll be connected to that likeable old five-pot, or if gaining a gear will be countered by losing a cylinder in the name of economy and emissions. Hope not, because the 2.5 is probably the standout feature on Audi’s super-three. Verdict It’s still a very likeable car, this S3 Saloon. There’s a certain Q-car appeal about a three-box car based on a hatchback, and under the skin we found genuine ability in many areas. The new gearbox delivers a leap forward in terms of power delivery, the car’s handling has been improved and the already-smart cabin is further polished with the addition of the Virtual Cockpit. It might be a bit smaller than most other fast saloons on sale, but it’s not much slower and it’s certainly not as common. Courtesy of Car Magazine
  19. Road trip: a phrase loaded with potential for exciting adventures, spontaneous diversions and over-indulgence on service station cuisine. My trek was short on imagination, because I was taking a path up the UK’s motorways from Berkshire to Scotland, but this was the farthest I’d gone in our Civic Type R in one go. Road trip: a phrase loaded with potential for exciting adventures, spontaneous diversions and over-indulgence on service station cuisine. My trek was short on imagination, because I was taking a path up the UK’s motorways from Berkshire to Scotland, but this was the farthest I’d gone in our Civic Type R in one go. When we ordered our car, we specified GT trim, which includes convenience features, such as automatic lights and wipers, a sat-nav and even one of those old-fangled CD players. And GT stands for grand touring, yes? Well, I wasn’t expecting limo-like refinement, but would this road-going hot rod be bearable over such a long trek? It didn’t start well: the sat-nav recognised my destination’s postcode but then proclaimed "cannot calculate route" — a quirk that no amount of menu prodding could resolve. Just as well I only needed directions at the very end of my journey. Before that, I had miles of motorway on which to assess the Civic. Some colleagues find the Type R’s firm ride impossibly uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ve grown used to it, but I find it acceptable on motorways — unlike the level of road noise from those fat tyres. The ride is less fun across broken roads, a fact that was hammered home when I turned off the M74 and onto the A702, an old Roman road. After a few miles, there’s a section that I suspect hasn’t been resurfaced since Gnaeus Julius Agricola thundered along it in his chariot. The long stretch of pockmarked highway was a reminder of how the Civic’s crashing race car rigidity can prove invasive, prompting a meandering path around imperfections. After an overnight stop near the Forth Road Bridge, the destination was Knockhill circuit, where I received useful track-driving tuition from Honda’s own touring car champ, Gordon Shedden. More on that in the future. As I left Knockhill to drive home, I was faced with one of those decisions that define road trips: should I head east back to the motorway, or turn west on a B-road? I chose the latter, and on a dry, smooth and largely traffic-free road under a clear blue sky and with perfect visibility, the Civic was as enjoyable as it has ever been. I could enjoy the tremendous grip and the fizzing, exploitable mid-range capability of the turbocharged engine. Hours later, near the end of a drive that got progressively more traffic-clogged and storm-hit the farther I drove, I stopped for fuel. I also topped up the screen wash, but in my jaded state I fumbled the fluid reservoir’s cap into the engine bay. I can still see it but can’t work out how to reach it without getting the car on a service ramp. Why Honda doesn’t tether the cap is beyond me, but when I find myself grumbling about such matters, it’s indicative of this car’s impressive capabilities, which are proving rather more rounded than I expected. However, Young Tom Ryder came to Autocar recently for work experience and arrived bearing a gift. Tom’s father Jason works at Honda UK’s HQ in Bracknell, and the present was a washer filler cap. I’d been looking at one on eBay for £6.50, so I’ll spend that money treating the Honda to a wash instead. Mileage 11,995 Price £32,295 Price as tested £32,820 Economy 32.9mpg Faults None Expenses Oil £13.71, front discs and pads, front tyres, oil and filter £1583.05 Courtesy of Autocar View full article
  20. Road trip: a phrase loaded with potential for exciting adventures, spontaneous diversions and over-indulgence on service station cuisine. My trek was short on imagination, because I was taking a path up the UK’s motorways from Berkshire to Scotland, but this was the farthest I’d gone in our Civic Type R in one go. When we ordered our car, we specified GT trim, which includes convenience features, such as automatic lights and wipers, a sat-nav and even one of those old-fangled CD players. And GT stands for grand touring, yes? Well, I wasn’t expecting limo-like refinement, but would this road-going hot rod be bearable over such a long trek? It didn’t start well: the sat-nav recognised my destination’s postcode but then proclaimed "cannot calculate route" — a quirk that no amount of menu prodding could resolve. Just as well I only needed directions at the very end of my journey. Before that, I had miles of motorway on which to assess the Civic. Some colleagues find the Type R’s firm ride impossibly uncomfortable. Perhaps I’ve grown used to it, but I find it acceptable on motorways — unlike the level of road noise from those fat tyres. The ride is less fun across broken roads, a fact that was hammered home when I turned off the M74 and onto the A702, an old Roman road. After a few miles, there’s a section that I suspect hasn’t been resurfaced since Gnaeus Julius Agricola thundered along it in his chariot. The long stretch of pockmarked highway was a reminder of how the Civic’s crashing race car rigidity can prove invasive, prompting a meandering path around imperfections. After an overnight stop near the Forth Road Bridge, the destination was Knockhill circuit, where I received useful track-driving tuition from Honda’s own touring car champ, Gordon Shedden. More on that in the future. As I left Knockhill to drive home, I was faced with one of those decisions that define road trips: should I head east back to the motorway, or turn west on a B-road? I chose the latter, and on a dry, smooth and largely traffic-free road under a clear blue sky and with perfect visibility, the Civic was as enjoyable as it has ever been. I could enjoy the tremendous grip and the fizzing, exploitable mid-range capability of the turbocharged engine. Hours later, near the end of a drive that got progressively more traffic-clogged and storm-hit the farther I drove, I stopped for fuel. I also topped up the screen wash, but in my jaded state I fumbled the fluid reservoir’s cap into the engine bay. I can still see it but can’t work out how to reach it without getting the car on a service ramp. Why Honda doesn’t tether the cap is beyond me, but when I find myself grumbling about such matters, it’s indicative of this car’s impressive capabilities, which are proving rather more rounded than I expected. However, Young Tom Ryder came to Autocar recently for work experience and arrived bearing a gift. Tom’s father Jason works at Honda UK’s HQ in Bracknell, and the present was a washer filler cap. I’d been looking at one on eBay for £6.50, so I’ll spend that money treating the Honda to a wash instead. Mileage 11,995 Price £32,295 Price as tested £32,820 Economy 32.9mpg Faults None Expenses Oil £13.71, front discs and pads, front tyres, oil and filter £1583.05 Courtesy of Autocar
  21. No Cupra 280/290?

    The Cupra certainly qualifies as a Uberhatch. The Ring lap it set sees to that! The board is now live.
  22. Hi, Leon Cupra owner

    Well, after a quick discussion we certainly agree that is indeed a Uberhatch. The Leon Cupra board is now live. Welcome aboard!
  23. Spotted Section?

    We're working on it guys. It'll be along shortly. As with the Classifieds section, the consideration is per make/model or one section for the whole site.
  24. It's coming guys. We're in the process of finalising the rules and disclaimers etc. How would you prefer the classifieds to be setup? Per model or for the site as a whole? Managing per make/model would be much more labour intensive as the site grows. Thanks, Admin
  25. Tapatalk Support

    Thank you for the feedback. We would like to avoid Tapatalk if at all possible, but if it restricts our audience then we'll certainly reconsider. Could you use the site for a few days and report back on usability issues and whether you feel Tapatalk is still required. Thanks, Admin
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