Small hothatches have become rare, but they still exist
10. Audi A1 35 TFSI and Seat Ibiza 1.5 TSI
We start our list with a double: the Seat Ibiza 1.5 TSI.5 TSI with 150 hp and the Audi A1 with the same engine (picture). In the Ibiza, the 1.5 TSI only recently reintroduced after being unavailable for a while. The Audi A1 initially had a 40 TFSI with 200 hp, but this was phased out in summer 2020. Since then, the 35 TFSI with 150 hp is the most powerful version.
The Ibiza sprints to 100 km/h in 8.2 seconds with the standard DSG. The A1 has two transmissions (DSG in the A1 Sportback, manual in the A1 Citycarver), with the DSG version leading the field. This means that the car only needs 7.9 seconds for the sprint, while the data sheet for the city carver with manual transmission shows 8.3 seconds.
- Engine: 1.5-liter turbo gasoline engine, 4 cylinders
- Power: 150 hp
- Torque: 250 Nm
- Drive / transmission: front-wheel drive / seven-speed DSG (Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI DSG)
- 0-100 km/h: 7.9 sec. (Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI DSG)
- Top speed: 217 km/h (Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI DSG)
- Price: 25.101 Euro (Audi A1 Sportback 35 TFSI DSG)
More about the Audi A1 and the Seat Ibiza 1.5 TSI:
9. Honda e Advance
The Honda e has not really come to be known as a horsepower-packed behemoth. This is the car that comes to mind when looking for an example of a particularly fancy electric car. But with 154 hp (or 113 kW), the small e yet to the more powerful small cars.
When it comes to sprinting, however, don’t expect too much, because the Honda e is quite heavy at 1.6 tons – the (larger!) Honda Jazz is 300 kilos lighter. So the car needs 8.3 seconds for the standard task, and already at 145 km/h it’s over. If you overdo it with the speed, you won’t achieve the stated range of 222 kilometers (according to WLTP). The performance doesn’t justify the high price, but the Honda e is very chic – and well equipped to boot.
- Engine: electric motor
- Power: 154 hp (113 kW) (with Advance package)
- Torque: 315 Nm
- Drive train / transmission: rear-wheel drive / input gearbox
- 0-100 km/h: 8.3 sec.
- Top speed: 145 km/h
- Price: 37.042 Euros (with Advance package)
More about the Honda e:
8. Mini Cooper S
The Mini Cooper S has a two-liter turbo gasoline engine with an impressive 178 hp under the hood. But we’re not betraying any secrets when we say that this is not the end of the line – there are still more powerful Minis to come.
The Cooper S sprints to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds when the standard manual transmission is on board, or in 6.7 seconds with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The top speed in both cases is 235 km/h. With under 26.000 euros, the Cooper S is surprisingly affordable for this driving performance and for the premium segment.
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine, 4 cylinders
- Performance: 178 hp
- Torque: 280 Nm
- Drive train / transmission: front-wheel drive / six-speed manual or seven-speed DCG
- 0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec. (DKG)
- Top speed: 235 km/h
- Price: 25.637 euros
More on the Mini Cooper S and the upcoming facelift:
7. Mini Cooper SE
And another electric car: the Mini Cooper SE is the most powerful small electric car on the market with 184 hp (or 135 kW). On the first meters, the car should even be able to keep up with sports cars.
But the sprint to 100 takes 7.3 seconds, which is noticeably longer than in the combustion engine cars – the electric Mini is also around 150 kilos heavier than the Cooper S with automatic transmission, and the body is 18 millimeters higher. More serious are the low top speed and the meager range of 270 kilometers according to NEDC (234 km according to WLTP).
- Engine: Electric motor
- Power: 184 hp (135 kW)
- Torque: 270 Nm
- Drive / Gearbox: Front-wheel drive / input gearbox
- 0-100 km/h: 7,3 sec.
- Top speed: 150 km/h
- Price: 31.681 euros
More about the Mini with electric drive:
6. Ford Fiesta ST
The Fiesta ST is powered by a three-cylinder engine that can even deactivate one cylinder in part-load operation. Thus the small Hothatch becomes then the economical two-cylinder model.
The 200 hp engine brings the small Ford in 6.5 seconds on highway speed, end is (similar to the competition) at 232 km/h. The price of around 24.000 euros for the three-door model, the five-door model is only slightly more expensive.
- Engine: 1.5-liter turbo, 3 cylinders
- Performance: 200 hp
- Torque: 290 Nm
- Drive train / transmission: front-wheel drive / six-speed manual gearbox
- 0-100 km/h: 6.5 sec.
- Top speed: 232 km/h
- Price: 24.029 Euro (three-door)
More about the Ford Fiesta ST:
5. VW Polo GTI
The VW Polo GTI is powered by a 2.0 TSI, which produces 200 hp. As transmission always a DSG is installed. With this combination, the small Wolfsburg car sprints to reference speed in 6.7 seconds, with a maximum of 238 km/h.
The Polo GTI is listed on the VW website, but it can’t be configured at the moment, and there’s no PDF price list, either. Let’s hope this isn’t a bad omen, we don’t want to lose another little Hothatch .
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbo, 4 cylinders
- Power: 200 hp
- Torque: 320 Nm
- Drive train / transmission: front-wheel drive / six-speed dual-clutch transmission
- 0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec.
- Top speed: 238 km/h
- Price: 26.405 Euro (currently not configurable)
Everything about the Polo GTI:
4. Hyundai i20 N
The new Hyundai i20 N with its 204 hp 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine boldly takes the Polo GTI by storm. Weighing only 1.2 tons, this little car sprints to reference speed in 6.7 seconds, which is just as fast as the Volkswagen.
The transmission is a six-speed manual, an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission could still follow if there is sufficient buyer interest. However, the car will not be launched until spring 2021, so no price has been set yet. But it should be cheaper than the Polo, and with better equipment.
- Engine: 1.6-liter turbo gasoline engine, 4 cylinders
- Power: 204 hp
- Torque: 275 Nm
- Drive / transmission: front-wheel drive / six-speed manual
- 0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec.
- Top speed: 230 km/h
- Price: not yet known
3. Mini John Cooper Works
The Mini John Cooper Works based on the three-door model just makes it onto the podium. Its two-liter four-cylinder produces 231 hp.
With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the tiny 3.85-meter-long car needs 6.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h; the version with eight-speed automatic is even 0.2 seconds faster. On the highway, the Mini JCW reaches almost 250 km/h – it’s a good thing it has a rock-solid chassis.
- Engine: 2.0 liter turbo gasoline, 4 cylinders
- Power: 231 hp
- Torque: 320 Nm
- Drive train / transmission: front-wheel drive / six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
- 0-100 km/h: 6,3 sec. (manual version)
- Top speed: 246 km/h
- Price: 31.388 Euro (manual version)
Everything about the Mini JCW:
2. Toyota Yaris GR
The second most powerful small car is currently the Toyota Yaris GR. The 1.6-liter turbo with 261 hp and 360 Newton meters of torque would truly do credit to a larger car as well. With the three-cylinder engine, the little racer reaches 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds.
The car is not entirely based on the new Yaris, but half on the compact car platform TNGA-C. This made it possible to integrate a better rear axle and all-wheel drive.
- Engine: 1.6-liter turbo, 3 cylinders
- Power: 261 hp
- Torque: 360 Nm
- Drive / transmission: all-wheel drive / six-speed manual
- 0-100 km/h:5.5 sec.
- Top speed: 230 km/h
- Price: 32.363 euros
Everything about the Yaris GR:
1. Mini John Cooper Works GP
Even more powerful than the Toyota is a newcomer, the GP version of the Mini John Cooper Works. The powertrain is familiar from the Mini Clubman JCW, delivering an impressive 306 hp.
As a result, the small car’s top performer sprints to 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds – figures that a few years ago were reserved for sports cars like the Porsche 911. Equally impressive is the top speed of 265 km/h. However, only 3.000 units of the JCW GP are available and with 45.000 Euro, the car is also quite far ahead in terms of price.