Top ten best hot hatches for 2012

Hot hatches are perennial popular in the UK, more so than many other countries. Our love of fire-breathing hatchbacks based on standard cars shows no signs of slowing down.

With this in mind we’ve gathered together ten of our favourite hatchbacks. All are bordering on 200bhp (and in most cases, surpassing it) and come with a sporty edge over the models they are based on.

Looking for a new car with more performance than your average hatchback? Take a look at the top ten best hatchbacks in 2012.

Seat Ibiza Bocanegra

The Ibiza Bocanegra builds on the reputation of the Ibiza supermini with sportier features and a bit more of a boost in terms of engine power.

The Ibiza uses a 1.4-litre twin-charger petrol engine that produces a max power of 178bhp at 5800rpm, which give it a top speed of 140mph and a 0-60mph time of 7.2 seconds. Max torque of 249Nm can be accomplished at 2000-4000rpm.

Its sporting credentials continue to its interior and exterior with features like sport seats, unique fabric upholstery, 17″ alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

Prices for the Seat Ibiza Bocanegra start from £18,655.

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Renaultsport Clio 200

Unlike many other performance models the Clio 200 doesn’t really have that ‘mean’ edge in terms of styling that a performance model usually does. But that’s not to say it lacks in performance.

The Renaultsport Clio 200 is a surprisingly powerful little number with up to 197hp at 7100rpm and a top speed of 141mph. It also boasts a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds. Although it does seem a little smaller and snug to other performance models the Clio 200 delivers in the same style and power departments like any other.

On top of its evidently good performance figures the Clio 200 offers climate control, steering wheel adjustment and other sporty perks.

Prices for the Renaultsport Clio 200 start from £17,120

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Vauxhall Corsa VXR

The VXR, despite its supermini origins, is without a doubt a very powerful car. With the use of a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine it delivers up to 280hp and a top speed of 155mph.

The VXR also delivers in terms of style with plenty of sporty perks on offer. These include exterior features like extended side skirts and twin exhaust, and interior features like sports seats and a flat bottomed steering wheel.

The VXR isn’t the type of car you would double up as a run-around; it is purely a performance car so if you’re after one, make sure you’re not planning on using it for just dropping the kids off.

Prices for the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR have not yet been announced.

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Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf

The Giulietta Cloverleaf is a good example of a balance between power, style and practicality.

Although it does deliver a massive power output of 232hp and top speed of 150mph, the Cloverleaf is as sophisticatedly stylish as it is powerful.

Features include an aerodynamic exterior with muscular wheel arches, deep side skirts and concealed rear door handles. Inside features include leather upholstery, cruise control and a black leather steering wheel.

But back to power, the Cloverleaf delivers a 0-60mph time of just 7.2 seconds and has a maximum torque of 340Nm.

Prices for the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Cloverleaf start around £26,000.

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Ford Focus RS

Although it is quite an old model the Focus RS is still up there in terms of competition in the hot hatch segment.

With a classically sportier exterior branding the ‘rally look’ the Focus RS delivers 300hp at 6500rpm and a top speed of 163mph.

If you are looking for a hot hatch that hits the road with sheer power, then the Focus RS is the one for you, as its power literally shoots the car forward. But that’s not to say it doesn’t deliver a great driving experience with response handling.

We eagerly anticipate an RS based on the new Ford Focus.

Vauxhall Astra VXR

Even though it’s not out until late 2012 the VXR is still one to watch.

The Astra VXR is based on the same platform as the GTC and has the same power as the Corsa VXR with a top speed of 155mph and a power output of 280hp.

The VXR also comes with a FlexRide system that features a Sport mode button and VXR button which varies throttle and steering control.

Exterior design wise the Astra VXR offers twin exhaust, roof spoiler and specially sculpted front and rear bumpers.

Mazda3 MPS

The Mazda3 MPS is a very stylish addition to the hot hatch segment with distinctive features like a bonnet air intake, new grille and new bumpers.

To match its slick and sporty design is a 2.3-litre petrol engine with a power output of 256hp and a top speed of 150mph.

Although it’s not an ‘essential’ feature to a hot hatch the Mazda3 MPS has a stop & start system which it calls i-stop, meaning you save fuel when idling.

Prices for the Mazda3 MPS start from £21,500.

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Renaultsport Megane Cup 250

The design features of the Megane cup 250 are inspired by classic Renault racing models.

In terms of power it achieves a top speed of 156mph and a power output of 247hp at 5500rpm. It also achieves 0-60mph in just 6.1 second.

The Megane Cup 250 delivers in terms of power, style and driving experience as it has great traction and responsive handling – everything you would expect from Renault in the hot hatch arena.

Prices for the Renaultsport Megane Cup 250 start from £21,995.

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Seat Leon Cupra R

The Leon Cupra R embodies the classic sloped Seat front end with a few sporty tweaks with the likes of the doors and wheel arches.

Power and performance is definitely the key feature of the Leon Cupra R as its exterior styling is a lot like the original Seat Leon model. However, its interior is well equipped with things like an on-board trip computer, sports seats and aluminium pedals.

So when it comes to performance the Cupra R doesn’t disappoint with a power output of 261hp at 5000rpm and a top speed of 155mph.

Prices for the Seat Leon Cupra R start from £25,205.

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Citroen DS3 Racing

The DS3 is another one of those models that as well as being a great performance hot hatch, it can also function as a practical and stylish supermini.

However, when it comes down to performance the DS3 Racing definitely delivers with up to 200hp and a top speed of 140mph. It also delivers a maximum torque of 275Nm and a 0-60mph time of just 6.5 seconds.

Its sporty engine is topped off with a sporty image with the likes of sport seats, racing dials, leather steering wheel and a contrasting paint job all thrown in into one package.

Prices for the Citroen DS3 racing start from £23,205.

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