Audi RS3: 159.3bhp/litre

Audi’s contribution to the current hot hatch arms race is the RS3, whose turbocharged 2480cc five-cylinder engine produces a mighty 395bhp. The same engine can also be found in the TT RS which, being lighter and more aerodynamic, is even quicker, with a 0-62mph time of under four seconds.

What we said:

“This engine is magnificent – too good, probably, to be considered appropriate for a car like this by almost any other manufacturer. And, being teamed with an equally brilliant driveline and launch control system, it makes for the kind of performance that’d be more recognisable to an owner of a supercar of, say, 10 years of age or so, than it would be to most hot hatchback regulars.”