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The Honda Civic Type R has finally arrived in North America, but it seems that we are still missing out on a ton of other hot hatches.
Hatchbacks haven’t been hot sellers in North America for years now, which explains why it has taken so long for models like the Ford Focus RS and the Honda Civic Type R to arrive. While some automakers are willing to export some of their hot hatches for North Americans, others are still hesitant.
The biggest reason why North Americans miss out on some of the best hot hatches is that they come from automakers that simply don’t operate in North America. Hatchbacks continue to be popular in Europe, which is where you would find most of these models on sale. Here are 10 hot hatches we wish we got here:
10. Hyundai i30 N
Hyundai’s first model from its N performance sub-brand won’t be heading to North America, and that makes us sad. Based on the i30, the hot hatch N version sports a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine providing 272 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while paired to a six-speed manual transmission. It also looks the part of a hot hatch, with aggressive styling from bumper to bumper. Fortunately, North American enthusiasts can look forward to the eventual Veloster N model.
9. Seat Leon SC Cupra 300
The Seat Leon Cupra 300 offers plenty of performance with 296 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque from the popular Volkswagen 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It goes zero to 62 mph (zero to 100 km/h) in 5.8 seconds while offering plenty of cargo room in the back if you opt for the five-door model.
8. Peugeot 308 GTi
French automaker Peugeot has quite a few hot hatches in its lineup, but the 308 GTi is our favorite. The GTi model is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 272 hp, paired to a six-speed manual transmission. It’s also one of the sportier five-door hatchbacks available in Europe.
7. Audi S1 Sportback
Audi may be one of the few automakers on the list that is actually sold in North America, but the S1 Sportback isn’t available on our shores. Not only does it look like a hot hatch with all the trademark Audi design features, but it performs like one as well. Sporting a 2.0-liter TFSI Quattro powertrain, the S1 Sportback has 231 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to go zero to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds.
6. Vauxhall Astra VXR
Sporting a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Vauxhall Astra VXR offers 276 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque along with an aggressively styled body. The compact hatch is able to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 5.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.
5. Volkswagen Scirocco R
Volkswagen offers the Golf R in North America, but enthusiasts have always been wondering why the Scirocco R isn’t sold here. With a bolder style than the Golf, the Scirocco R has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood, generating 276 hp, allowing it to accelerate from zero to 62 mph (zero to 100 km/h) in 5.5 seconds when paired to the German automaker’s DSG. The six-speed manual version is a bit slower at 5.7 seconds.
4. Renault Megane RS
Like Peugeot, Renault has a few hatchbacks in its lineup, but our favorite production model is the Megane RS. At the top of the range is the 275 model, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 275 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Adding to its hot hatch status is an Akrapovic titanium exhaust and Alcantara Recaro seats inside the cabin.
3. Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept
We admit, the Renault Zoe e-Sport is a concept car, which technically means no one in the world can buy it right now. But just look at it! When Renault decides to produce this hot hatch, North America will never get close to it, which is a shame. Based on the existing Renault Zoe, the e-Sport Concept is an all-electric car with around 460 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque. Finally, an electric hatch we can get excited about.
2. Alfa Romeo MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde
Now that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has arrived breathing fire and creeping up on BMW M3s, it’s time to kindly ask the Italian automaker to bring over one of its hot hatches. If the tiny MiTo isn’t your thing, there’s also the Giulietta that’s available outside North America. In the MiTo Quadrifoglio Verde, there’s a 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo engine with 170 hp, while the Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde gets a 1.75-liter turbo engine with 240 hp.
1. BMW M140i
Unfortunately, the BMW 1 Series doesn’t exist in North America, not even in sedan form. But the BMW M140i is one of the hottest hatches around with 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to go zero to 62 mph (zero to 100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds when equipped with an optional eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. Those that prefer to row their own gears will do the sprint in 4.8 seconds.