This year's offerings were hotter than ever.
With the new Golf GTI, Audi S3, and Mercedes A45 AMG all unveiled last year in Geneva, we were hopeful Geneva 2014 would continue its recent tradition of showcasing the latest hot hatches on the market - and the Swiss expo didn’t disappoint. Pocket rockets were on show at all corners of the Palexpo, but we have narrowed the selection to five. Check them out and let us know which gets your vote.
A road-going variant of the Astra OPC Cup racer, the Opel Astra OPC Extreme is the fastest Astra of all time, and comes packing a 2.0-liter turbo-four tuned to 300 horsepower. All that grunt is sent the front wheels via a six-speed manual and limited-slip differential, while the Extreme weighs 100 kg less than the Astra OPC thanks to a host of carbon-fiber parts including the rear wing, front spoiler and hood. Opel will produce a very limited run of the Astra OPC Extreme with a production variant tipped to be unveiled at Geneva 2015.
The new Honda Civic Type R offers a look at how the Japanese carmaker intends to set the next Type R apart from stock Civics, while signaling “a new era for the marque.” The concept’s extreme styling includes a massive rear spoiler, new bumpers, bigger grilles, side skirts, widened fenders and a set of 20-inch alloys. Under the vented hood lurks a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 276 hp.
Abarth unveiled the 695 Biposto in Geneva claiming it to be “the fastest street legal Abarth ever.” Packing a 1.4-liter turbo-four tuned to deliver 190 hp – 30 more horses than the Fiat 500 Abarth sold in the US – thanks to an impressive power-to-weight ratio the pocket rocket can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds. As the name suggests, the Biposto has just two seats (Sabelt racing buckets to be precise) complete with four-point harnsesses. It also comes with adjustable shocks, a titanium rear roll bar, Brembo brakes and 18-inch OZ alloys.
The Audi S1 is the smallest Four Rings model to receive the high-performance treatment and like the rest of the S vehicle lineup comes with very understated styling. Tell-tale signs this offers more than meets the eye include the larger air dam, 17-inch alloys, modified bumpers, optional roof spoiler, larger brakes and Xenon headlamps. Under the hood, a 228-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual and Haldex-style multi-plate-clutch four-wheel drive system. Audi claims the hot-hatch will sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.8 seconds an hit a top speed of 155 mph.
VW gave the Scirocco R a mild facelift for 2014 along with a modest power hike that not only boosts output of the 2.0-liter turbo engine to 276 horsepower, but also improves fuel economy and reduces C02 emissions. Minor cosmetic changes include Golf GTI-style blades in the front bumper, new bi-xenon headlights and LED taillights. The 18-inch alloys come direct from the Golf R, while inside the dash-top gauges pay tribute to the first-gen model.