With the launch of the Fiat Abarth Punto Evo and the overwhelming reception garnered by it, the fact that Indian car market is more than hospitable to hot hatches has become evident. The appeal of hot hatches comes from a range of factors, the most prominent of which is the practicality that the 5-seaters offer. This is followed by the exhilaration offered by those souped up power-plants and last but definitely not the least are the looks. The gobsmacking aesthetics that help you distinguish yourself from the herd of blacks and whites is the perfection of vanity that customers chase after, providing bread and butter to customizers and bodyshops across the globe. With the new year's fast approaching, we are in for a treat, as an exciting batch of brand new hot hatches are coming our way and will hit the Indian streets for the very first time. So, we have compiled the holy trinity of hot-hatches that will be making their way to us. Lets check them out!
Volkswagen Polo GTi
Kicking off our list is a jaw dropping offering from Volkswagen. The German automaker is currently going through a financial and PR crisis but that has not managed to hamper its dedicated German spirit. Volkswagen will be launching the all new Polo GTi, which will feature a 189bhp powerplant. The enormous grunt will be harnessed out of a brand new 1.8-litre TSI engine. This will help the car accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in around seven seconds. The power-plant will come mated to a seven-speed DSG gearbox. All this goodness with an option of seating your entire nuclear family with plenty of space in the boot to accommodate the tangible baggage that comes along with them. You might feel that all of this sounds too good to not have a catch and you would be right. The catch is Polo’s price tag, the all new Volkswagen Polo GTi will feature a price tag that will be well over Rs. 17 lacs. If you are a someone, who wants to break free from the MPV-dad stereotype and want to take a crack at something a tad more exciting, which offers relatively similar practicality, then this is the car for you!
Well, technically this is not a hatchback, as the car comes with a split tailgate but nevertheless, this not-so-mini, Mini Clubman has managed to steal a spot on our list. The most prominent reason for adding the all new Clubman in this list of hot hatches is its impressive powerplant options, which include a 135bhp 1.5-litre petrol motor and a monstrous 190bhp 2.0-litre petrol mill available for the Clubman S variants. You also get an option of a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel mill but that would be compromising on the very essence of a hot hatch. Speaking of essence, the new Mini retains and capitalizes on its retro-modern styling, which will defiantely turn heads out on the streets.
Launch Update: Volkswagen has launched the much awaited Beetle in the country at a starting price tag of Rs. 28.73 lacs (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The new Beetle is powered by 1.4 liter TSI petrol engine that makes 150PS and 250Nm of torque, while the transmission duty is handled by 7-speed DSG. The car comes with features like B-Xenon headlights along with LED daytime running lights and the fog lamps featuring static cornering lights.
Culminating our list is yet another Volkswagen and this time it is the company’s halo car, the Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, the new and improved Herbie will be making its way to India and it will feature 148bhp 1.4-litre TSI unit. The car will be brought to India via CBU route and might feature a Rs 35 lacs price tag.
And Finally, let's take a look at the Car that Started it All!
Fiat Abarth Punto Evo
Fiat Abarth Punto Evo is a hot hatch that redefined our perception of hot hatches in India. The car comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, which is mated to a 1.4 liter T-Jet motor that has been tweaked to belt-out 145 horses and 195Nm of torque (which is plenty of grunt for your every day haul and then some!). This power-plant helps propel the car from 0-100 in under 10 seconds. The height of the car has been reduced by 20mm and this results in the overall Kerb-weight of around 1100kg. The over all power-to-weight ratio will also improve for the Abarth Punto and so will the aerodynamics. No wonder Abarth Punto took the market by storm.