The hot hatch hero of the moment right now is the Hyundai i30 N, the Korean marque’s first serious salvo against the world’s fittest small go-getters. And it’s been widely praised as something of a buck-banging giant-killer.
We decided to test that premise by throwing the flagship N-car up against the established figurehead hot hatches from non-premium carmakers: Ford’s Focus RS Limited Edition, Honda’s Civic Type R, Peugeot’s 308 GTI 270 and Volkswagen’s Golf R. Plus, we’ve added a ‘wildcard’ in the form of the Subaru WRX STI Spec R, the peak of the now sedan-only hero that minted the affordable, small, turbocharged all-paw formula.
Three all-wheel drives, three front-drivers, with pricing ranging from $43k (i30 N) through to $57,690 (STI Spec R). It’s a rich and diverse field with each competitor representing its maker’s fastest and most fun-filled efforts.
Our full mega test regime seeks to find the pint-sized king of pace and fun factor through a series of objective and subjective tests. You can read the full written comparison and results here.
In this video, we pull the field’s collective strings using acceleration (0-100km/h), braking (100-0km/h) and lap testing at Winton Raceway in Victoria to find out what’s properly hot and what’s not.
Stay tuned for our upcoming Hot hatch mega test: Road video to see how we judged the field by the seats of our pants across some of Victoria’s finest driving roads…
UPDATE, MAY 23: Part 2 of the video chapter is now live, taking in the road component. Get it here.