Four cars, four-cylinders. That's the theme for today's drag race from carwow. Usually, that wouldn't pique much interest, but these are hot hatchbacks we're talking about here and some of these vehicles are quite literally pocket rockets. Thanks to the power of turbocharging and fueling wizardry, these four vehicles push north of 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Not bad for something that can seat five and offer impressive everyday cargo space. The field is also well-represented with Korea, Japan, the United States (sorta), and the United Kingdom having sent their very best representatives. Well, the best in terms of a set budget and similar pricing, at least.
Japan has bestowed upon the drag race their boy-racer designed Honda Type R, bringing more wings and (fake) vents than the other cars combined. All that aero is not for nothing, however, as the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 320 horsepower (239 kW) and 295 (400Nm) pound-feet of torque sent to the front wheels via a sweet six-speed manual transmission. The Honda Type R weighs in at a bit over 3,000 pounds, making it the second lightest car here.
If we go geographically, next up is the relatively new kid on the block, the Hyundai i30 N. This is the first of two cars fitted with a tune, so the Hyundai's four-banger now makes a respectable 325 horsepower (242 kW) and 406 pound-feet (550 Nm) of torque. Like the Honda, it has a six-speed manual transmission but is the second heaviest in this drag race at 3,150 pounds.
The next modified car is also the heaviest at 3,272 pounds, but it also packs the most horsepower. Say hello to the Ford Focus ST with work done by mountune, resulting in 330 horses (246 kW) and 380 pound-feet (515 Nm) of torque. This Focus ST also packs a six-speed manual transmission.
Lastly, we have the lightest and least powerful car in the lineup, a Mini GP. Don't be fooled by its 306 horsepower (228 kW) and 332 pound-feet(450 Nm) of torque, as this vehicle is the only one with an eight-speed automatic and launch control. And it also happens to be the lightest at 2767 pounds.
So, who will win? The traditional, human-error, and human-dependent three-pedal setup? Or will the seamless and less predictable eight-speed auto win the day?