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Paris: Hot hatches aplenty

Fans of small firecrackers catered for at Paris motor show

The Paris motor show is chock full of plenty of cars, especially hot hatches. Here's some of the highlights...

First up, the all-new, Mk6 VW Golf GTI - although you'd be hard-pushed to really tell. It's very much evolution rather than revolution for the new Golf, and the GTI concept that has a global debut at Paris even wears the same wheels, grille detailing and colour schemes as the outgoing car. Engines-wise, there's an extra 10bhp under the bonnet and a subsequent 2mph boost in top speed, while emissions are down by 11g/km. Prices should start around the £22k mark, with diesel and hot R variants to follow.

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There's also a Renault Megane with a difference. The brand used home turf to unveil its all-new, third-gen Megane, including a return to the Mk1's coupe and five-door range - with the former being the basis of the bright yellow Trophy race car. Stunning looks, gullwing doors and 355bhp are all massively appealing - fingers crossed some of it dribbles down to the Renaultsport Megane we can expect to see next year. Just don't bank on seeing those doors (sadly).

Seat's all new Ibiza Cupra also turned up, wearing a similar (but unfortunately not identical) face to the Bocanegra concept car that previewed the Ibiza SC. Under the bonnet there's a turbo and supercharger bolted onto VW's 1.4-litre TSI engine, giving the little Cupra 180bhp alongside a 140mph top speed and 7.5sec dash to 60mph. It should compete with hot Clios and Minis around the £17,000 mark.

There was a familiar face in the shape of the Abarth 500, a car that's won many fans already. The one making its Paris debut, though, was the hotter Esseesse version. 158bhp, 170lb ft, 7.4sec to 62mph and around £16k - happy days. There's still the £13k base version, too, which gains a new rival in the shape of the Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart. Mini-me Evo styling, 147bhp and the option of an equally-smart five-door should boost life into the Colt which has been with us since 2004 now.

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