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Why The US Won’t Get A 2019 Ford Focus ST

ford focus st

The Ford Focus ST hot hatch is scheduled for a reveal very soon and Ford engineers have been testing the car round the clock. Motor Authority managed to get some snaps of the new car and we can only say that it will be a refreshing improvement from the current model, which is already one of the best cars in the segment.

Back in April, Ford unveiled a new generation of its ever-popular Focus. The US should’ve gotten at least one variant of the compact car, a soft-roader called the Focus Active that will be manufactured in China. But thanks to new tariffs imposed on Chinese-made vehicles, Ford dropped the plans and we’re left wondering if we’ll ever see the new Focus variants.

Ford decided to forego the plan for another reason: the shift toward SUVs, pickup trucks, and commercial vans in North America is permanent. The Mustang will be the only “sedan” that will be on sale in the US beyond 2020.

Ford will use its next-generation front-wheel-drive platform for the new Focus. The torsional rigidity of the new cars will be up by 20 percent compared to the outgoing model, which means that the new ST variant will provide a better ride and handling for its drivers.

In the cabin, the all-new Focus will get a colored touchscreen at the top of the dash and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of electronic driver aids. There will be some extra special features for the ST such as the Recaro front seats, ST badging, and additional performance options for the driving modes selector.

The rumor is that the Focus ST will come with a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4, the same one that is found in the outgoing Focus RS. That engine can be tuned to produce 370 horsepower. In the new ST, that will be downgraded to 252 horses since the engine will be paired with a front-wheel-drive system. The transmission is expected to be a six-speed manual.

2019 Peugeot 208 GTi Hot Hatch To Come In Pure EV Form

peugeot 208 gti (1)

We’ve been pretty excited with the 2019 Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch when it was introduced, but it looks like there’s another reason to party. According to the French automaker, it is lining up a pure electric form of the 208 GTi hot hatch. The electric vehicle (EV) variant will sit alongside the petrol version when both are introduced at next spring’s Geneva Motor Show.

The arrival of an EV form will mean Peugeot will switch to a new architecture, preferably the Common Modular Platform or CMP, which offers much-improved efficiency, cheaper build costs and, crucially, the scope for pure-electric variants.

This is not really a surprise since we’re expecting that an EV form will come. Earlier, Peugeot announced that the next 208 will arrive in two versions: the CMP (also known as the EMP1) and the e-CMP. However, what’s surprising to us is the fact that the electric 208 will also be offered as a GTi.

Peugeot head Jean-Pierre Imparato spoke to Auto Express and said that full details of the cars will be revealed in March, just in time for the show in Switzerland. He added that each time the brand comes up with a new model, it will be offered in an electrified form, so it will still be up to the buyers to choose the powertrain they want.

A pure EV form is being offered in the GTi version because Imparato does not want “to generate [a] difference between EV and combustion-engined models.” Aside from this tidbit, Peugeot is also working on manufacturing and developing high-performance vehicles with electrified powertrains.

Just last year, it has been revealed that the French company is developing a 300-bhp hybrid version of the 3008. There are also other concepts, though the most notable is the 308 R Hybrid.

Photos via Auto Express

4 Things To Know About The 2018 Renault Megane RS


Renault is bringing a sportier and more powerful version of the Megane to 2018. Called the Renault Megane RS, it will have a wide stance, unique body lines, aggressive front end, and a motorsport-inspired, functional rear diffuser.

Exterior

The RS model is wider than the standard model with the rear haunches up by 45 mm (1.77 inches) and the front extended by 60 mm (2.36 inches). The front has an all-new fascia and the large air intakes are more menacing and aggressive than ever. The new grille also adds a sportiness to the whole look.

The rear end is very interesting, with a micro look on the fascia and a functional diffuser in the middle. There are new fog lights, too, and you can choose from 18- or 19-inch wheels. There are eight exterior colors to choose from—Glacier White, Arctic White, Mercury, Diamond Black, Titanium Grey, Flame Red, Volcanic Orange, and Liquid Yellow.

Interior

The interior is all sports car with its RS-specific goods. The red trim is thrown around the car and the RS badge on the bottom of the steering wheel is a nice sporty touch. There are red accents, too, in the hear shifter, the instrument cluster, and the infotainment system. All over, the interior is wrapped in charcoal gray with red top stitching and to round off the sporty feel of the interior, there are aluminum pedals, too.

The sports seats offer plenty of support, which included integrated headrests. The R-Link 2 comes as standard equipment and this features an 8.7-inch display that’s vertically oriented.

Performance

The Renault Megane RS is powered by a 1.8-liter four-pot engine that produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 287 pound-feet of torque. For this kind of power, Renault has to do over the air intake, the exhaust system, and the cylinder head, which received attention from the Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing department.

The Megane RS can reach 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds. It also comes with the Multi-Sense, which offers several driving modes—Comfort, normal mode, sport mode, race mode, and Perso mode.

The Renault Megane RS is priced at $37,271, and competes directly with the Volkswagen Golf R and the Honda Civic Type R.

4 Things To Know About The 2018 Hyundai i20

hyundai i20 (1)

The Hyundai i20 is known for being affordable and practical, thanks to its power efficiency and a number of tech features inside. The South Korean brand has finally revealed a refreshed model for the i20, which last saw an upgrade back in 2014.

The updated line has gas-powered engines and the latest tech safety features available in the market.

1. Exterior

There are a number of body styles that the 2018 Hyundai i20 is offering, which will basically cover as many segments as possible. The body styles include a five-door hatchback, a sportier three-door hatch, and a crossover “Active” body style.

The 2018 model year gives a slightly upgraded design to the i20. There’s a restyled cascading grille design up front, a two-tone roof option, and alloy wheel sizing between 15 and 16 inches. There are more exterior paint colors, too, such as Tomato Red, Champion Blue, and Clean Slate. The other carry-over hues are Passion Red, Sleek Silver, Stardust Grey, Polar White, and Phantom Black.

2. Interior

The layout of the cabin is pretty basic and straightforward. Since this is a practical car, at the most, that should not be a problem to owners. The steering wheel has a thumb-operated multifunction buttons and red contrast stitching. There’s a center-mounted digital driver’s information display, and a push-button start finishes off the look.

Buyers can get an optional panoramic sunroof, but that will cost more. And for the infotainment section, the Hyundai i20 will have features that include navigation, media support, and connectivity services. Cargo room, on the other hand, is rated to have 11.5 cubic feet.

3. Performance

There will be no more diesel option for the 2018 Hyundai i20. The carmaker, instead, opted for a variety of gas-powered engine configurations—a turbocharged Kappa 1.0-liter three-cylinder T-GDI and a naturally-aspirated Kappa 1.2-liter engine.

4. Prices

The 2018 Hyundai i20 will arrive in dealerships in June and sold in the European market. Hyundai did not provide exact pricing for the cars, but expect it to be around $16,513.

3 Things To Know About The New Toyota Corolla Hatchback

toyota hatchback

There were huge expectations on the coming of a new Toyota iM, and though this is closely related to that, the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback still sits on its own little niche. According to the guys over at Toyota, this new hatchback is designed to be a “driver’s car,” and is set to make a huge impression.

Powertrain

The new Toyota Auris came with only one non-hybrid drivetrain—a 1.2-liter engine. The Toyota Hatch, on the other hand, will come with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine that has some “decent power on demand,” reports speculate. There are no details yet regarding the horsepower and the torque, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be at least decent.

Exterior And Platform

There’s a big improvement in terms of the overall size of the hatchback. According to reports, the hatchback has been lowered by one inch, stretched out by 1.5 inches, and widened by 1.2 inches. It has a longer wheelbase compared to the Corolla iM, and there are wider tracks in the front and rear. There are two options for the wheels—a 16-incher and an 18-incher. You can also have it either in manual transmission or in CVT but with 10 simulated gears, a launch gear, and a paddle shifter.

Toyota will use its TNGA platform for this hatch. They also added a host of safety features such as AEB with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, lane tracking assist, and radar cruise control. There will likely be additional features when the hatchback is released, but these are cool enough for a start.

The upcoming Toyota hatchback is being set up for a summer release as a 2019 model. There’s no word yet on how much this will cost, but we’re sure we’ll find out in a couple of months, so better ready those wallets.

The New Ford Focus RS Will Be A Hybrid

ford focus rs

Ford is planning for another RS-badged Focus as the current generation Ford Focus RS is preparing to stop production by April 6 this year. The next-generation Focus RS will reportedly be a hybrid that can produce up to 400 horsepower.

Dutch publication Auto International started the rumor last week when it reported that the next-generation Focus RS will have a 48-volt, mild-hybrid system that will boost the power production of the vehicle. That is reason enough for the RS-badged Focus to be able to choke out a nice 400 horsepower output.

The current-generation Ford Focus RS produces 350 horsepower, though a 370-horsepower version was also available, thanks to a Mountune performance kit. The 370-horsepower Focus RS was aptly called the Focus RS Heritage Edition.

The same report said that the current 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine will be carried over to the next-generation Focus, but it is believed that the hybrid will have a bigger starter motor that will seriously boost the powertrain capability. Aside from the 400-horsepower output, the new Focus RS will allegedly also come up with an additional 44 pound-feet of torque, bringing the total to 394 pound-feet of torque.

These are just rumors, of course, but there’s credence to it since Ford plans to electrify most of its vehicles in the coming years. In fact, it even teased a future battery-electric performance crossover that would carry the “Mach 1” name. There was also a report that a hybrid version of the Mustang and F-150 might be coming out.

Jim Farley, executive vice president and president for global markets, earlier said that Ford plans to distribute seven fully-electric cars in North America by 2022. This might be the start of that project.

There’s no timeline as to when the next-generation Focus RS will come out. What we do know is that the next hatchback will make its bow at the 2018 Geneva Auto Show. The sedan version might make its debut at the 2018 New York Motor Show.

Hyundai Reveals “Hottest Ever Hatch” To The Market Through The Veloster N

2019 hyundai veloster (3)

Aren’t we all excited what Hyundai has in store for us when it introduced the new N performance sub-brand? Well, here it is in the form of the 2019 Veloster N. It’s not only truly capable on the road, but it looks so good too.

Hyundai has high aspirations when it comes to producing the “hottest hatch ever,” and it  horsepower, thanks to its turbocharged inline-4 engine and sportier chassis, it also has a more aggressive look. Overall, the new hatchback from the South Korean automaker falls somewhere between sport compacts such as Volkswagen Golf GTI and Honda Civic Si and the more powerful Golf R and Civic Type R.

2019 hyundai veloster (2)

If you are familiar with the Europe-only market i30 N, the Veloster N almost looks similar to that. It is, in fact, available in the same Performance Blue paint with red trims on the front fascia and side skirts. The colors black, red, and white are also available. There’s an N badge on the grille, making sure everyone knows you’re not driving just any Hyundai out there.

2019 hyundai veloster (13)

The power is coming from a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that can produce up to 275 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, almost the same figures with the i30 N. This engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission while an electronically controlled limited-slip differential is optional equipment.

Enthusiasts will also be welcoming a slew of new performance features such as adaptive dampers, launch-control capability, automatic rev matching, and a variable exhaust. There are five driving modes, including an “N” that is meant for the race track.

2019 hyundai veloster (9)

Like the idea of large wheels? You can choose between an 18-inch base wheel wrapped in 225-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance tires and an optional 19-inch wheel has wider, 235-series Pirelli P Zero rubber.

There are no pricing details yet, but we’ll expect the Veloster N to play in the range of $25,000 to $30,000.

Photo Source: Autoblog

2018 Honda Civic Type-R: It’s Not Only for Racing, It’s Also Practical

honda civic type-r

The 2018 Honda Civic Type-R is best known for its performance. It is the world’s fastest production front-wheel drive car today.

The hot hatch is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. The unit produces 306 hp. The power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. That allows the car to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Then, its top speed is electronically-locked at 170 mph.

The Civic Type-R exudes an air of aggressiveness, thanks to its extended front bumper complete with black mesh and lip spoiler, air intakes, side skirts, protruding rear bumper, rear wing, rear diffuser, triple exhaust pipes, and sports wheels.

Due to the mentioned factors, most buyers tend to overlook the practical side of the car. So here is a list of things that make the Civic Type-R ideal for every day driving:

1. Fuel Efficient

The hot hatch may not be Honda’s most fuel-efficient car out there. But its combined fuel-consumption is 22/28 mpg. According to TorqueNews, you can also fill it with your regular unleaded gasoline because of its engine’s low compression.

2. Its Manual Transmission is Easy to Use

Driving a manual may take away the convenience brought about by the ease of operation provided by automatic and CVT gearboxes. On the good side, an MT gives the driver a good feel of the vehicle’s power. That’s why most car purists prefer it.

The Civic Type-R’s MT is easy to learn. It has the always-on torque feature that makes shifting in city drives very minimal. In addition, the center display has indicators that help the driver determine when to shift gears.

3. Comfortable Interior

Despite the compact appearance of the Civic Type-R, it actually has a decent space in its cabin. The front has a total headroom of 39.3 inches and total legroom of 42.3 inches. The back offer an overall headroom and legroom of 37.4 inches and 35.9 inches, respectively. The rear seats can be folded to accommodate more of your haul from the grocery or your baggage.

The sports front seats possess that cozy feel in them. Then the center console has a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster that manages the drive modes of the hatch as well as information on navigation, G-force meter, lap timer and shift lights.

Top 5 Things About the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Lineup

volkswagen golf

The Volkswagen Golf range just got a series of updates for its 2018 models. There were some noticeable visual changes in the car and popping up the hood of some of its models will reveal upgrades in the engine department.

The Golf is one of the resilient models of the Volkswagen brand. The car has been around since 1974. The auto is currently in its seventh generation.

The present generation of the VW Golf was introduced in 2012. However, its maker introduced gradual updates in its look and performance along the way to keep it fresh during its production cycle.

Here are the major changes in the VW Golf based on TopSpeed:

1. Volkswagen Golf Hatch

The VW Golf hatchback is receiving a 1.8-liter turbo engine. It produces 170 hp mated to a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed DSG. The car is available in S and SE trims. The S is equipped with “Lyon” alloy wheels. Going for the SE gets you a set of full LED lights, fog lioghts, panoramic tilting sunroof and 16-inch “Toronto” wheels.

2. Volkswagen Golf Wagon

The wagon variants are available in S, SE and SEL trims. The SE and SEL each takes an 8-inch touchscreen. All the wagons get LED DRLs, automatic headlamps and a new shade of green in the finish.

3. Volkswagen Golf GTI

The GTI is offered with a 2.0-liter engine. It gets a 10 hp bump compared to its predecessor, which brings its output up to 220 hp. The power of the car is distributed via a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG.

The vehicle is sold in three trims namely the S, SE and Autobahn. The upgrades in the Performance Package are available in the SE and Autobahn as a standard fit plus safety features like the VAQ Electronic Limited Slip Differential, auto emergency braking and forward collision warning. The Autobahn is also fitted with High beam Control, Lane departure Warning, updated maneuver braking and others.

4. Volkswagen Golf R

The range-topping Golf R packs a 2.0-liter engine with 292 hp paired with either a seven-speed DSG or six-speed manual. Included in the trim are 19-inch “Englishtown” aluminum alloy wheels, DCC Adaptive Cruise Control and 8-inch infotainment system with the brand’s Digital Cockpit.

5. Pricing

The starting prices of the Golf models are:

  • $21,760 for the Hatch.
  • $22,535 for the SportWagen.
  • $26,845 for the Alltrack.
  • $27,265 for the GTI.
  • $40,635 for the R.

Top 3 Things About The New Suzuki Swift Sport Hatchback

suzuki swift (14)

It’s honestly cute as a button, so is it any wonder why the Suzuki Swift Sport Hatchback remains to be a favorite in whatever market it is in. The Swift Sport Hatchback looks like the Mini Cooper minus that expensive price tag. Perhaps, that’s where its appeal comes from.

Since it was introduced to the market back in 2005, the Swift Sport has been a favorite. It remains to be one today, though there are lots of competitions out there.

1. Powertrain

Because this is not your usual Swift, the Sport hatchback weighs 2,100 pounds and receives some muscles through the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four that can deliver 138 horsepower. It is paired with a six-speed manual transmission that works well with the front-wheel drive system.

To experience on-road smoothness and maneuverability, the Suzuki Swift Sport Hatchback is also equipped with 17-inch wheels while its tires are 1.6 inches wider than the previous and current generations. Why do the tires have to be wider? These will help the car for high-speed stability.

2. Exterior

Who doesn’t love how the Swift Sport Hatchback looks? For anyone who cannot purchase a Mini Cooper, here’s your next best thing. Now that the car has been upgraded, the grille and the front intakes are larger and angrier-looking than the regular model’s. There are also two big exhaust outlets that can be seen from the rear bumper.

3. Safety

It may be tiny, but the Swift is looking after its driver and passengers. Among its suite of active-safety tech are automated emergency braking and lane departure warning.

The Suzuki Swift Sport Hatchback can compete with the Ford Fiesta ST, but unfortunately for American consumers, they won’t ever get their hands on a Suzuki since this has pulled out from American shores years ago. For whatever reason, the brand failed to capture the American market.

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