The Ten Fastest FWD Cars on the Market in 2016

Front-wheel-drive cars still have a say regarding performance, as several carmakers still offer quick cars with this configuration.
Ten fastest FWD cars available on the market today 11 photos
Abarth 695 Biposto2014 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde2015 Audi TT Coupe2016 Audi A42015 Honda Civic Type R2015 MINI John Cooper WorksPeugeot 308 GTiSeat Leon Cupra 2902016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport2014 Volvo V40 R-Design
We have put together a list of ten FWD cars that provide excellent acceleration figures. Our list is focused on vehicles that are currently on sale in Europe and that are quick in their FWD version.

Some of the models on our list are also available in all-wheel-drive configurations, while others only come with front-wheel-drive. Interestingly, most of the cars we are talking about in this piece come with a manual transmission as standard, while others have quick automatic transmissions to handle the shifting for you.

We cannot help but notice that there is no diesel on this list, as there is no model without turbocharging. So, this downsizing thing does work well in some cases. It should also be noted that none of the following cars was designed in the U.S., most of them being European, where the FWD trend pretty much came about.

To keep this list brief, we decided only to include cars that have a 0-100 km/h (62 MPH) time of 6.3 seconds or better. There are a lot of front-wheel-drive models with a 6.5 second acceleration time, but we focused on the fastest models available in this configuration, and 6.3 seconds seems to be a good value. Back in 1962, 6.3 seconds was the 0-100 km/h acceleration time of a Ferrari 250 GT0, which was fitted with a 2.9-liter V12 engine.

2016 Abarth 695 biposto

Abarth 695 Biposto
The first car on our list, featured in alphabetical order, is an Abarth. It comes with a 1.4-liter T-Jet engine that develops 190 HP. The unit is the most powerful ever installed in a road-going Abarth and comes with the absolute power/liter figure of the category, 139 HP/liter.

From a standstill, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) is achieved in just 5.9 seconds. Top speed is 230 km/h (142 MPH). As the name says, the Abarth 695 only has two seats. The car comes with a dog-ring five-speed manual gearbox, the first “street legal” car to feature this technical solution from the factory.

This model comes with a partial roll cage in the back, and the bucket seats have Sabelt seatbelts. The Abarth 695 Biposto is the closest you can get to an FWD race car for the road, at least when it comes to this list.

2016 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde

2014 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde
The second Italian model featured on our list is the Quadrifoglio Verde version of the Giulietta. The name means “Green Cloverleaf,” and the latter was the symbol used by many racers back in the day as a good luck charm.

The Italian compact car has a 1.75-liter engine that delivers 240 HP and 340 Nm (251 lb-ft) of torque to a TCT six-speed twin-clutch transmission. The 0-100 km/h acceleration time is of 6.0 seconds, while top speed is of 244 km/h (151 MPH).

Alfa Romeo has facelifted the Giulietta this year, but the new version is not available in showrooms yet, so the older model is still suitable for this list.

2016 Audi TT Coupe 2.0 TFSI

2015 Audi TT Coupe
Most Audi cars with powerful engines come with the quattro all-wheel-drive system, but there are still some models with good performance and an FWD configuration.

The third generation of the Audi TT is one of them. You can buy the new TT with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that delivers 230 HP to the front axle. The six-speed manual version needs 6.0 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h, but the S-Tronic version is a bit faster, with a time of 5.9 seconds.

Both versions of the TT have a top speed of 250 km/h (155 MPH). The S-Tronic version of the 2.0 TFSI Audi TT is also available with a quattro all-wheel drive system, and that one only needs 5.3 seconds to sprint from 0 to 62 MPH.

2016 Audi A4 2.0 TFSI S-Tronic 252

2016 Audi A4
Audi makes another surprise presence on our fastest FWD cars list with a version of the new A4. It can be ordered with a 2.0-liter TFSI engine that develops 252 HP. This version of the A4 only comes with an S-Tronic seven-speed twin clutch gearbox. A front-wheel-drive version is available in some markets.

The FWD of the 252 HP Audi A4 2.0 TFSI can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds, while top speed is limited to 250 km/h (155 MPH).

We must note that this is the only sedan on our list, and also the only car that is not marketed as a performance version of the model it is based on, because customers have an all-wheel-drive car to look forward to in that area, not to mention that there's also an S4 version.

2016 Honda Civic Type R

2015 Honda Civic Type R
The new Honda Civic Type R features the most powerful engine on our list, and also happens to be the most powerful front-wheel-drive car available on the market today.

It has a 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC unit that delivers 310 HP. While the maximum output is reached at 6,500 rpm, Honda engineers will let owners rev up to 7,000 rpm for good measure. The Japanese hot hatch comes with a smart front suspension, electronically controlled dampers, and a manual six-speed transmission.

The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in just 5.7 seconds. Top speed is a blistering 270 km/h (167 mph). The mentioned top speed also makes this car the fastest on our list today. A big row of applause for Honda engineers for this one. Let us hope they sell in big numbers and justify the development costs.

2016 MINI John Cooper Works

2015 MINI John Cooper Works
MINI has decided to change its naming structure for the most sporty versions of their range. So, instead of calling the most powerful hatchback in their portfolio like they used to, they just called it the MINI John Cooper Works.

It comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 231 HP to the front wheels. The version with the six-speed automatic gearbox has a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 6.1 seconds, while the manual does the job in 6.3 seconds.

The 1,205 kilogram (2,657 lb) car is the fastest and most powerful MINI available today. The manual gearbox version has a 15 kilogram weight advantage on the automatic, but the latter is more fuel efficient and apparently makes the car faster.

Sales have begun in the first quarter of 2015, so it has been on the market for a year now. The car shows that MINI still makes exciting models and has a promising future ahead for enthusiasts of sporty cars.

2016 Peugeot 308 GTi

Peugeot 308 GTi
The only French entry on our list is the Peugeot 308 GTi. The car is available in two power versions, 250 HP and 270 HP, and both from a 1.6-liter THP engine. The latter comes with a Torsen limited-slip differential. The French hatchback can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds (250 HP) or 6.0 seconds flat (270 HP version).

Peugeot’s hot hatch comes with one of the smallest engines on our list, but proves you can be efficient and quick at the same time. The car fares well when compared to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, as it provides more power than its German counterpart and better performance figures.

The chassis, suspension, steering, and braking systems have been adjusted by Peugeot Sport to ensure the best possible handling for this model. The standard transmission for this car is a six-speed manual.

2016 Seat Leon Cupra

Seat Leon Cupra 290
Seat’s Leon Cupra is available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that delivers 290 HP. The Spanish brand offers this engine for both the Leon Cupra five-door hatchback and the Leon SC. The fastest of them is the latter, which achieves a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 5.6 seconds with the DSG twin-clutch gearbox. The manual version is just 0.1 seconds slower.

Meanwhile, the Leon Cupra hatchback takes 5.8 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h with the DSG gearbox, while the manual version is 0.1 seconds slower. No matter what version you choose, the TSI engine is the same, as is the electronically limited 250 km/h (155 MPH) top speed.

Customers can also order a Performance Pack, which includes Brembo brake calipers, a new wheel design, and special performance-oriented tires. The 290 HP of the Leon is distinguished from the regular model with just a badge on the rear hatch, so it is a bit of a sleeper among hot hatchbacks.

2016 VW Golf GTI Clubsport

2016 Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport
The sportiest front-wheel-drive and road-going version of the Golf GTI is called the Clubsport. It shares the 2.0-liter TSI engine with the Seat Leon Cupra 290, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds.

Unlike its Seat Leon equivalent, the Golf GTI Clubsport has the same acceleration time for the manual gearbox and automatic gearbox versions, and the time remains unchanged if the customer buys the three-door or five-door body style.

This version of the Golf GTI is surpassed in power and performance by the Golf R, but the latter has all-wheel-drive as standard, which obviously helps. The most powerful front-wheel-drive version of the Golf GTI was launched the year the model turned 40 years old.

2016 Volvo V40 T5

2014 Volvo V40 R\-Design
The only Swedish model in our list is a Volvo, naturally. We are talking about the V40 compact, available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that provides 245 HP.

It only comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but the latter does not make this car a slouch, as the V40 T5 can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.3 seconds. Top speed is rated at a healthy 240 km/h (149 MPH).

While the Volvo V40 did get a facelift this year, the Swedish company has not announced the possible performance improvements of the most powerful version in the lineup. Since this car is still available in showrooms, we are free to include it on our list. Expect the facelift to be just as quick, if not even faster.


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