Hot hatches are (almost) the perfect daily drivers. They are compact, yet have enough useable space to get stuff accomplished. They usually have smaller, boosted engines, which are really efficient, and yet have enough power to take on most of the stuff on the road. And most importantly, the performance to cost ratio is really good.
Up until now, if you yearned for a hot hatch, you basically had 3 solid options: the Golf R, Mercedes A45, or the BMW M135i. Now, the A45 and M135i outclass the Golf R, hand down. The Bimmer and Benz are both more luxurious; more refined, and over all better cars.
VW has finally realized this, so they have revealed the Audi RS3. Basically, the madman at the Audi skunk works (Quattro GmbH) took a perfectly civilized Audi S3, and made it straightjacket-wearing monster. The result of this lunacy is a 2.5 liter 5 pot producing 362hp and 343 lb/ft of torque being directed to all 4-wheels, or to the rear wheels thanks to a clever new 4WD system developed solely for the purpose of going sideways (God bless you Audi).
0-60mph takes about 4.3s, which is the same as a new BMW M3. The top speed is 174mph, if you request for the limiter to be removed. You can get ceramic breaks (like the ones in the R8), as well as the usual Audi toys.
Unfortunately, the RS3 hatch will stay confined to Europe (perhaps for our own safety). There are rumors of a RS3 sedan coming to the States, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Expect an official unveil at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, with sales starting the summer of 2015. Prices should be around €40,000.