Motor (Australia) - - FRONT END. PACE NOTES -

FAR FROM hav­ing it all its own way, the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Mercedes-AMG A45 will need to be good to com­pete against a slew of up­com­ing models. Ru­moured to be pack­ing a mild-hy­brid sys­tem (like the A45) in com­bi­na­tion with a high-out­put com­bus­tion en­gine, the next Ford Fo­cus RS poses one of the big­gest threats. Ex­pected to chan­nel more than 300kW through all fours, the RS will also adopt an an­grier ex­te­rior de­sign (artist im­pres­sion pic­tured) based on the all-new Fo­cus. Hyundai is want­ing to add a halo model to its range, and the RN30 Con­cept could be a sign that an all-wheel drive hot hatch is in the works. The RN30 uses a 280kW/450Nm four-cylin­der turbo and is tied to a wet-type dual-clutch trans­mis­sion. Ru­mours are gath­er­ing that VW is plan­ning a mild-hy­brid ver­sion of the Golf R, with a com­bined out­put of over 300kW (with the EA888 four-pot). With the next-gen BMW 1 Series switch­ing to front-wheel drive, it seems the M ver­sion could be­come AWD for bet­ter pack­ag­ing. What pow­ers it, four or six cylin­ders, is the big­ger un­known.

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