Hot hatch titans on show at SMMT

Ford, Renault and VW show hot hatches at SMMTSMMT will play host to three legendary hot hatch manufacturers as Ford, Renault and Volkswagen exhibit from 27 May to 5 July at the organisation’s Westminster showroom. The manufacturers will be showing the latest Ford Focus ST, Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 and Volkswagen Golf GTI.The history of the fast Ford is a long and rich one. It begins with the Lotus-engineered Cortina in 1963, which enjoyed success on track and in the showrooms, and the Escort Mexico in 1970, which celebrated Ford’s rallying success of the time. Later generation Escorts came to hot hatch fame in the 1980s and ‘90s in XR3 trim, while more recently, Ford’s best-selling Fiesta and Focus have received the hot hatch treatment, badged as STs.The Ford Focus ST on display at SMMT boasts a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, which propels it to 62mph in 6.5 seconds and on to 154mph. It also features variable ratio steering and three-stage ESP to tailor to the driver’s preference. Despite this, it still delivers respectable fuel consumption and emits 169g/km CO2.For more than 20 years the Clio name has been synonymous with exciting and affordable hot hatches. Starting with the Clio Williams in 1993 and followed by a number of Renaultsport models, the manufacturer’s B-segment hot hatch has historically used a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.The latest Clio Renaultsport shows a departure from previous models, featuring a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine and a twin-clutch gearbox. The smaller engine develops 200bhp, making this the most powerful Clio to date, while the quick-shifting gearbox helps it reach 62mph in just 6.7 seconds.Arguably the creator of the hot hatch segment, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has seen seven iterations since 1976. The current version continues the theme of the original, creating a perfect combination of performance, refinement and practicality.The Golf GTI’s power output has more than doubled since its launch, from the Mk1’s 110bhp to 230bhp in the current model. Similarly, fuel consumption has improved 70% in the last 38 years. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

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