FAST, frantic, furious and just a little bit front wheel drive. There are certain qualities you need if you’re looking a bit of hot hatch heaven.
Regular readers will already know I’m a big fan of family hatches made fruitier through revvier engines, bigger suspension and sportier suspension, and while there have been a couple of rear-drive and four-wheel-drive deviations it is by and large a recipe for motoring fun that’s worked a treat for more than 40 years. In fact, more than 50 years if you count the original Mini Cooper – which was only ever a two-door saloon, of course – as the one that started it all.
Now the Koreans are having a crack with – unless any automotive anoraks out there can suggest otherwise – the country’s first fully-fledged hot hatch, the Kia pro_cee’d GT. The outward signs are that it’ll have the firepower to take on the establishment, thanks to a trick taken straight from chapter one, verse one of The Hot Hatch Bible; strap a ruddy great turbocharger onto your engine of choice, in this case Kia’s 1.6 ‘Gamma’ petrol lump. The end result is 201bhp and – if we’re being really petrolhead about it – a power to weight ratio of 157bhp per tonne.
I can’t wait to get a go, and I’ll let you know whether it’s on the ball dynamically as soon as I do. Would you opt for a Kia hot hatch as your motoring weapon of choice in your next battle at the lights?