The little 1.8-liter turbo that could.

Hot hatches often are go-to cars for young enthusiasts looking for performance, practicality, and affordability wrapped in an attractive package. However, with the modern-day batch of hot hatches pushing 300 or more horsepower, affordability has suffered. Take the Renault Megane RS – a bit of forbidden fruit in the U.S. It has a starting price of £27,495 (about $36,042 at current exchange rates) and packs 276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque. That is all good when you’re reading it on the spec sheet, but when you take the Megane RS, the limits of the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder are evident. 

A new video from the AutoTopNL YouTube channel shows how long it takes the Megane RS to reach its top speed of 155 miles per hours (255 kilometers per hour). The video shows the Renault hitting 62 mph (100 kph) in about 5.8 seconds. That’s similar to performance to the Honda Civic Type R. However, in the first top-speed attempt, the driver didn’t even reach the official top speed before letting off the accelerator. He did, however, get close, hitting 152 mph (245 mph). 

But boy, did it take a long time to get there. The Megane RS may have some low-end punch and acceleration, but once the hatch hit about 140 mph (225 kph), it’s like acceleration hit a wall. The Megane hit 140 mph (225 kph) in about 37 seconds, which is respectable. But the last 12 mph (7 kph) took an additional 48 seconds. That’s painfully slow. A second attempt – not timed and already in progress– shows the Megan completing the same 12 mph difference in 18 seconds, which is significantly faster than before. The driver can hit the car’s top speed, taking 46 seconds from to go from 140 mph (225 kph) to 155 mph (255 kph). 

AutoTopNL also posted a video of the Honda Civic Type R pitted against a Ford Focus RS. The Civic produces 306 hp while the Ford makes 350 hp. The Focus RS is also all-wheel drive compared to the front-wheel-drive Civic, which should give it a slight advantage. However, the video shows the Civic hitting 150 mph (250 kph) about five seconds quicker than the Focus RS. In total, it takes the Civic Type R about 39 seconds to reach its 150 mph while the Focus RS took about 44 seconds. This isn’t a scientific measure of either car’s performance but is fascinating to watch.

Hot hatches are great cars for consumers looking for a variety of necessities in their next vehicle. However, they're not all created equal. 

Source: AutoTopNL via YouTube

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