Everyone is familiar with the term "Hot Hatch", from the Fiesta XR2 and Renault 5s of years gone by, right through to the modern offerings from a plethora of manufacturers - some of which you wouldn't expect. Given the popularity of the Hot Hatch, manufacturers then started to release "warm hatches" - models which still have the sporty looks but reduced performance when compared to their thoroughbred brethren (think Focus ST & Fiesta ST as a comparison).
But as with everything, time moves on and a natural evolution happens, historically somebody who had driven a hot hatch would more often than not, drive something "sensible" when the marriage and kids came along. Now though, the boys and girls who grew up with the desire to own an XR2, who drove the Fiesta ST or the Clio RS in their 20's - these are the people who are now able to take their "sensible" with a hefty dose of sporty on the side and at more affordable costings than from premium manufacturers...
So far we have 3 models from various manufacturers confirmed to be on their way...
Following Cupra's separation from SEAT to become it's own brand, they haven't rested on their laurels and have flung themselves into the process of adding their flair to the range. The Ateca hasn't escaped the sporty treatment. Pairing the sporty exterior design with a 2 litre turbocharged petrol engine, the Cupra Ateca produces 300PS and conquers the 0-62 sprint in 5.2 Seconds.
Hyundai Tucson N
Following the success of i30 N Hot Hatch, Hyundai have announced plans to launch a sporty Tucson model - whilst there aren't any official pictures as yet, the limited information which has been made available suggests that the N-powered Tucson will deliver in the realms of 340BHP and will achieve the 0-60 sprint in under 6 seconds, allowing it to stay competitive within this emerging market. The Tucson N is expected to be released in around 18 months to 2 years as the current model range reaches the end of its lifecycle.
Volkswagen T-Roc R
Recently confirmed in an official video from Volkswagen, the T-Roc R will utilise much of the same technology as the Golf R, including the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine you would find in the hot hatch. Both vehicles share the MQB platform underpinnings which have been refined across the Volkswagen group of companies. Performance for the T-Roc R is expected to be the same as the Golf, with a power output of 296BHP, but given the higher centre of gravity and greater weight it is unlikely the T-Roc will match the Golf's 4.6 second 0-60 time.
Not forgetting Audi, BMW or Mercedes, of course...
All 3 German brands are old hats when it comes to performance engineering but as you would expect, their badges come at a premium cost and that isn't true to the heritage of the "Hot Hatch" culture. BMW were perhaps ahead of the curve with their X5 M offering, swiftly followed by Audi's SQ range of cars, firstly the SQ5, the slightly costly RS Q3 and now there are confirmed plans for an SQ3 and an SQ2 model to be launched in Autumn - Winter 2019. The SQ2 is visible on Audi's website as of now but there is currently no information with regards to the SQ3 or the revised RS Q3. The SQ2, unsurprisingly given the other offerings from the wider VW group above, will come to market with a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, producing...yes, you guessed it: 300PS (296BHP) with a projected 0-60 sprint time of 4.8 Seconds.
As for Mercedes, they aren't scared of letting their AMG crew loose on anything, this has seen the AMG 45 engine transplanted from the A-Class Hot hatch, into a GLA Compact Crossover, the GLC has had a similar treatment too.
Given the volume of crossovers, SUVs and other similar vehicles which are available in the UK marketplace right now, do not be surprised if there is soon an influx of "hot" and "warm" crossovers - Renault and Nissan both have their own tuning divisions so an RS Captur or Kadjar is possible as is a Nismo Qashqai, moving on to South Korea, KIA showed their flare for performance with their GT line of models, so a Sportage GT is also a possible addition to their model range.
One ha' Penny, Two ha' Penny,
Green Cars’ is the term used for zero, low and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) - with pressure being applied to lower global emission levels, the need for “eco-friendly” vehicles is on the rise. Many countries now have plans in place to abolish the use of combustion engines before the turn of the century and so more and more vehicles we see on the roads will be Electric, hybrid or very low emission petrol and diesels.
Although beneficial to the environment, ‘Green Cars’ are also beneficial from a taxation view. The lower a vehicle’s emissions banding, the lower the taxation placed against it. Many manufacturers have tapped in to this ever-growing market with their own offerings, however, Volvo were the first manufacturer to state that every one of their models will be either electric or hybrid options from 2019.