Hatchbacks are Hot. No, Really.

Not since the VW Rabbit arrived have hatches generated so much buzz.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Back in 1983, the VW Rabbit GTI hit U.S. shores and showed that a small, boxy underdog—with a four-cylinder engine—could run circles around gas-guzzling muscle cars like the Trans-Am. But over the next 30 years Americans just didn't buy into the European "hot hatch." That's about to change. These explosive and stylish next-generation models offer maximum fun in a minimal package.

Fiat 500 Abarth

Italy's answer to the Mini Cooper, this raucous firecracker—with a racer's heritage in both name and style—ups the standard Fiat 500's game with 160 hp packed into a tiny 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder, tighter handling, and an attention-getting roar.

$22,700; fiatusa.com

Photographs courtesy of each manufacturer.
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