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Audi S1 (2014) CAR review

Rated 3 out of 53

Ben Barry, 02 June 2014 14:32

In 1964, Paddy Hopkirk won the Monte Carlo rally in a Mini Cooper S; 50 years later, this is Audi’s response: the A1-based S1 hot hatch. Late to the party and with an all-new Cooper S roaming the streets, Audi has scrambled its Vorsprung durch Technik army to DEFCON1 and pressed the red button. The result is a mass-produced version ...

Renaultsport Clio Michelin Clio Cup racer (2013) CAR review

Rated 0 out of 50

Ben Barry, 13 September 2013 12:00

We recently tried to tell you that the Renault UK Clio Cup race series was great value, with its £40k car, £12.5k entry fee and the £80k or so you’ll need to pay a team to run the car for you. And, yes, in context it is good value, but we won’t pretend that it isn’t way out of reach ...

Renaultsport Megane Red Bull Racing RB8 (2013) CAR review

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Ben Barry, 22 July 2013 07:00

Remember the Clio Williams? Then you’ll probably remember the Williams 2. And 3. Owners of the first, supposedly one-off run of Clio Williams certainly do. Things have moved on since those days: Renault engines are no longer powering Williams F1 cars to victory – but they are taking Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull to three world championships and counting. And, yes, ...

Renault Clio Cup racing car (2013) CAR review

Rated 4 out of 54

Ben Barry, 16 July 2013 14:00

The Clio Cup race series debuted in the UK in 1991 and, since 2006, all competitors have campaigned race-prepped versions of Renault's Clio 197 or 200. But with that car recently going off sale, the 2014 grid will instead be based on the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, the fourth generation of the hot-hatch legend. What's the spec of the ...

Ford Fiesta ST (2013) CAR review

Rated 4 out of 54

Ben Barry, 28 February 2013 16:00

This is the Ford Fiesta ST, baby brother to the Focus ST and follow-up to the 2005-2008 ST. It costs from £16,995, putting it head-to-head with Renault’s new sub-£20k Clio RS and Peugeot’s new £18,895 208 GTI. What’s the tech spec? At the ST’s heart lies a 1.6-litre Ecoboost turbo engine that chucks 180bhp and 214lb ft to the front ...

Vauxhall Astra VXR (2012) CAR review

Rated 4 out of 54

Ben Barry, 11 June 2012 12:00

There are some pretty serious operators in the hot-hatch business right now, and this is Vauxhall’s answer: the new 2012 Astra VXR. It’s based on the extremely good Astra GTC, but ups the ante considerably with 276bhp and 295lb ft torque. More details of the 2012 Vauxhall Astra VXR, please… The VXR uses an all-alloy – the outgoing car had ...

Ford Focus ST (2012) CAR review

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Ben Barry, 11 June 2012 00:01

This is the new 2012 Ford Focus ST. It’s Ford’s rival for the Golf GTI, but the blue oval hot hatch undercuts its equivalent key rival from Wolfsburg by over £4k. It also outpunches the GTI in the power and torque stakes, the ST’s 247bhp and 250lb ft being considerably ahead of the GTI’s 207bhp and 206lb ft. Ah yes, ...

Used cars: how to buy a second-hand Ford Focus ST (2006-2010)

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Ben Barry, 20 March 2012 09:00

When the Focus ST launched back in 2006, it served up something genuinely different in the hot-hatch segment. Yes, there's that unique 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged engine, endowing the ST with a beautiful, Ur Quattro-like warble and bags of easy torque. But it's more than that: the whole feel of the Focus ST – while undoubtedly sporty and great to drive ...

Used cars: how to buy a second-hand VW Golf GTi Mk5 (2004-2009)

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Ben Barry, 20 March 2012 09:00

After kickstarting the hot-hatch thing 36 years ago, VW spent much of the '90s and early '00s doing its best to squander its headstart, turning out the lacklustre Mk3 and Mk4 Golf GTIs, which traded on a name instead of serving up genuine GTI thrills. But the Mk5 marked a return to form, the tartan-checked seat trim echoing the early ...

Seat Leon Cupra R (2010) CAR video review

Rated 3 out of 53

Ben Barry, 13 July 2010 10:12

Seat's Leon has long spawned some suitably feisty variants, and CAR Online was recently invited to Rockingham Race Circuit to drive the latest and hottest to date: the Cupra R. With 261bhp, a 0-62mph time of 6.2sec and a 155mph top speed, it's no slouch, and, as road test editor Ben Barry discovered, it makes for an interesting alternative to ...

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CAR magazine October issue 627
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