Hot Hatch Showdown: RS3, Civic Type-R, Golf R, A45, and Focus RS

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Did they leave any of them out? Probably with the exception of the Renault Megane RS, all the best hot hatches in the world have sent a representative for this five-way drag race.
But the odds are not even. They may all bear the same loose description and have similar shapes, but they are all very different beasts. For one thing, they all have all-wheel-drive systems bar for the Japanese model, something that should make it a prime candidate for the bottom place even before the race.

But there's more to it than that because their power outputs are spread over an interval of almost 100 horsepower, with the Audi RS3 sitting on top with 400 hp and its group colleague, the Golf R looking up at all the others from the relatively short height of its 310 hp.

The Honda Civic Type-R isn't doing very well under this aspect either, with just 10 hp more than the Volkswagen. Couple that with the fact it has front-wheel-drive, and we're looking at a four-way race, really. Actually, make that a three, since the Golf can't possibly compete with cars that have 90 hp more.

The Ford Focus RS is a terrific car, but it only comes with a manual transmission. That's great for hooning the hatchback around your favorite stretch of winding roads, but in a drag race, you'll be prone to longer shift times and possibly even mistimed ones. Plus it only has 350 hp, 30 less than the Mercedes-AMG A45 and a full 50 less than the Audi A3.

So this essentially comes down to the two German premium brands, while the other three can only hope not to embarrass themselves. Well, we're not the type to give away any spoilers, but let's just say it's not going to be close. Except for the two at the wrong end of the chart - they come in on a photo-finish, which means a certain all-wheel-drive system is pretty useless.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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