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View Poll Results: Which would be the best hatch post mods?
Abarth Punto with Remap (150 WHP) 30 50.85%
Polo TDI Stage 2 tune (165 WHP) 25 42.37%
Figo Diesel with Remap (110 WHP) 4 6.78%
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Old 12th July 2016, 19:48   #1
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Default Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

I am planning to buy a good hatch after few months. Performance is my main priority. My budget is under 12 Lakhs. I want the best performance with all modifications under my budget. Cars which are in my list are New Figo Diesel, Polo 1.5 GT TDI, Abarth Punto.

Figo 1.5 TDCI

This car was the fastest on track (recent Overdrive comparo). This particular track was favourable for diesel cars though. Figo diesel is the cheapest car in my list and 2nd fastest in 0-100 test. Figo is the most VFM car here. Top end Titanium + gets 6 airbags and priced way lower than Polo and Abarth Punto.

With remap car would be doing 130 bhp easily. I can also get bigger tyres and alloys for around 40K (after buyback of stock alloys). Well, this would be really a hot hatch with 1 lakh worth mods.

Modifications :
Remap : 30K
Tyres and Alloys : 40K
Total : 70K

Figo Titanium + Ex-showroom price : 7.61 lakhs
Modifications : 70K
Total : 8.31 lakhs

Polo GT TDI :

We all know that VW quotes power at wheels for diesel cars. Most of the dyno reports for VAG diesel cars showed same values as quoted. I don't know what's the current scenario post emission scandal. This car costs almost 2 lakhs more than top end Figo titanium +. Polo is the most mod friendly hatch. Almost everything is available as after market parts. Tune O Tronics has stage 2 tune for 1.5/1.6 TDI which includes a bigger turbo along with remap. This would cost around 2 lakhs and power would be around 165 bhp. Also I can upgrade to 17 inch alloys for 50K (after buyback).

Modifications :

Tune O Tronics stage 2 remap : 2 lakhs
17 inch tyres & alloys : 50K
Total : 2.5 lakhs

Polo GT TDI Ex-showroom price : 9.61 lakhs
Modifications : 2.5 lakhs
Total : 12.11 lakhs

Abarth Punto :

This is the most powerful Indian hatchback. 1.4 turbo petrol with 145 bhp is literally addictive. Post remap, the car would do around 175-180 bhp. FFE would help the car to revv more freely and might bump the power by small margin.

Modifications :
Remap : 35K
FFE : 30K
Total : 65K

Abarth Punto Ex-showroom price : 9.99 lakhs
Modifications : 65K
Total : 10.64 lakhs

Conclusion :

Ford Figo Diesel :

Estimated power would be around 130 bhp. I would be spending around 8.61 lakhs. Remember, power is not quoted at wheels here. Considering 15-20 percent transmission loss, it would be doing around 110 bhp at wheels.

Cost : 8.31 lakhs
Power at wheels : 110 bhp (estimated)

Polo GT TDI :

Power is quoted at wheels here. Also this car would be producing the highest torque amongst the three.

Cost : 12.11 lakhs
Power at wheels : 165 bhp

Abarth Punto :

Power gain post remap would be around 180 bhp. Again this is not the power at wheels. Considering transmission loss, it would be around 150 bhp at wheels.

Cost : 10.64 lakhs
Power at wheels : 150 bhp (estimated)

I am more inclined towards Polo. As it's a very mod friendly car with good after market support. Polo would be doing around 135 bhp at wheels just with remap. (Cost - 30-35K). Suggestions are most welcome.

Note : Prices mentioned are approximate. Kindly add Road tax, insurance amount to the final cost mentioned. Ex-showroom price - Delhi is taken here.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:01   #2
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

I would any day of the week suggest a GT TSi over a TDi. Here's something from a recent Polo TSi owner:

+ You can get 130'ish WHP with a stage 2 remap, a proper exhaust and intake mod
+ You can also get a DSG remap from certain tuners which makes the transmission much quicker
+ You can get a lowered and adjustable coilovers either from kW or Bilstein
+ You can get a paddle shift steering for not much money
+ Lots of cosmetic and interior mods available
+ A huge community that can suggest and help you with real experiences on performance mods.
+ The Automatic transmission is amazingly nice when pottering around in the city.
+ The TSi because of a lighter front is also more chuckable than the TDi (personal experience)
+ Few things like ESP, torque vectoring diff only available on TSi not TDi

In simple words - in day to day driving and a bit of fun, nothing bests the TSi at its price point.

With the Punto, you will be struggling with that rubbish gearbox and loads of turbo lag all day.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 12th July 2016 at 20:03.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:01   #3
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

For almost all cars listed by you, you will most definitely need to add the cost of new fatter shoes on all, especially with a few mods in place.
Stock tyres are just about enough for stock cars.
That is more prominent in the Abarth where the tyre costs are not mentioned as additional expenditure. Plus Abarth comes with a discount now of at the very least 1L. Do factor these things

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
I would any day of the week suggest a GT TSi over a TDi. Here's something from a recent Polo TSi owner:
TDI produce way way more torque than the TSI (250 against 16x IIRC) and it shows in the performance too. TD both back to back and you will know.
What will be sorely missed though is the refinement of the Petrol. The diesel on the VW is crude.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 12th July 2016 at 20:07.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:07   #4
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

I would recommend putting aside some of that budget towards better brakes and suspension for the VW and Ford before any bump in power. The Abarth may also need some tweaks to get it to put that power down effectively. No point in having all that extra HP if you can't control and stop when driving hard.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:43   #5
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

If you plan to go for Polo GT, you will have to upgrade the suspensions and brakes before going for a remap. For less than 4K, you can upgrade the brake pads to Brembos and this gives a significant improvement in braking. For suspensions, you can either go for Bilstein B6 or even better KW Coilovers.

Consider the GT TSi as well. As reignofchaos pointed out, the GT TSi + DSG combination would be much more fun. A steering upgrade with paddle shifts can take this fun to another level. An in city, the AT will be a boon in bumper to bumper traffic.

I also see that you are taking only the ex-showroom price in your calculation. The OTR would be at least a lakh more right?

Last edited by graaja : 12th July 2016 at 20:44.
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:50   #6
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Not directly relevant to your question, but considering you have an S Cross 1.6, which is a potent car by itself and I assume can be modded and remapped to enhance the performance factor further, curious to know why you are looking out for another high performing hatch.

Wouldn't you be duplicating your garage?
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Old 12th July 2016, 20:57   #7
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post

Performance is my main priority.

Cars which are in my list are New Figo Diesel, Polo 1.5 GT TDI, Abarth Punto.
Hey Dr.Naren, I am a bit surprised that the guy with S-Cross DDiS 320 is looking for better performance...Unless its specifically at a hatch back.

Having owned the GT TDI (1.6) for over 2yrs now, I can share the following stuff about this hot hatch:

- Considering the fact that you already know how the 1.6 DDiS feels once the turbo spools, the 1.6 TDi has a very similar feel. I have driven the 1.5 TDi and personally felt the brutalness was subdued.

- You already have the torque monster (DDiS 320) and I think you must consider Figo 1.5 TDCi. But there have floaters of Ford planning to add touch screens for Figo/Aspire soon. So, probably you may want to hang on until this update, which will make these super-mainstream cars even better.

- Abarth is the real true blue hot hatch and if you are looking at only performance, there is no other way to look at. Bring in the FE and probably Abarth may not be the most obvious option.


My vote goes to Ford Figo 1.5 TDCi buddy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by keroo1099 View Post

I would recommend putting aside some of that budget towards better brakes and suspension for the VW and Ford before any bump in power.
+1 to keroo1099.

All the power is of little use if you cannot harness it. VW offer some of the worst OEM brakes in the country.
So, getting better shoes is a must with the remap, but please also look at improving the brakes, especially since you may be used to the superior stopping power of the S-Cross.
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:20   #8
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
I would any day of the week suggest a GT TSi over a TDi. Here's something from a recent Polo TSi owner:

+ You can get 130'ish WHP with a stage 2 remap, a proper exhaust and intake mod.
I agree GT TSI is a good car and mod friendly too. DSG shits are quick but I still feel manual is more fun. GT TSI makes around 92-94 bhp at wheels. 130 WHP post remap and hardware mods, I highly doubt. Bigger turbo and intercooler would be required.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
For almost all cars listed by you, you will most definitely need to add the cost of new fatter shoes on all, especially with a few mods in place.
Stock tyres are just about enough for stock cars.
That is more prominent in the Abarth where the tyre costs are not mentioned as additional expenditure. Plus Abarth comes with a discount now of at the very least 1L. Do factor these things

TDI produce way way more torque than the TSI (250 against 16x IIRC) and it shows in the performance too. TD both back to back and you will know.
What will be sorely missed though is the refinement of the Petrol. The diesel on the VW is crude.
Yes, I have listed tyre upgrade for Figo and Polo. Fatter tyres for Abarth won't cost much after buyback(I will definitely consider if the car begs for it) . I have no plans to upsize the tyres in Abarth. I love those stock alloys. Yes, VW diesel engines are little crude. But the torque they produce is what matters to me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by keroo1099 View Post
I would recommend putting aside some of that budget towards better brakes and suspension for the VW and Ford before any bump in power. The Abarth may also need some tweaks to get it to put that power down effectively. No point in having all that extra HP if you can't control and stop when driving hard.
Yes, Better brakes and Suspension upgrade is a must if the car couldn't handle the extra power. Since my budget is within 14 lakhs, this could be done. But for Abarth, I feel stock setup is good enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by graaja View Post
If you plan to go for Polo GT, you will have to upgrade the suspensions and brakes before going for a remap. For less than 4K, you can upgrade the brake pads to Brembos and this gives a significant improvement in braking. For suspensions, you can either go for Bilstein B6 or even better KW Coilovers.

I also see that you are taking only the ex-showroom price in your calculation. The OTR would be at least a lakh more right?
Yes, Polo has good aftermarket brakes and suspension. I will definitely consider it.

Road tax, insurance etc needs to be added. Road tax in Kerala is 8 percent and even Polo GT TDI with mods would be well under 14 lakhs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Not directly relevant to your question, but considering you have an S Cross 1.6, which is a potent car by itself and I assume can be modded and remapped to enhance the performance factor further, curious to know why you are looking out for another high performing hatch.

Wouldn't you be duplicating your garage?
I am planning to sell SX4/Grand I10 before purchasing my hot hatch. I want a hatchback with really good performance and handling. S-Cross 1.6 can be called as jumbo size hatch. I need something smaller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vik0728 View Post
Hey Dr.Naren, I am a bit surprised that the guy with S-Cross DDiS 320 is looking for better performance...Unless its specifically at a hatch back.
Very very specific that it should be a hatchback .

Thanks for the information buddy.

Figo diesel is the most VFM option here. I just found out that remap for New Figo diesel is not yet ready. ECU protection has to be tackled. I thought remap is available since it uses the same 1.5 TDCI engine with different tune.

Thanks everyone!!
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:29   #9
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
I agree GT TSI is a good car and mod friendly too. DSG shits are quick but I still feel manual is more fun. GT TSI makes around 92-94 bhp at wheels. 130 WHP post remap and hardware mods, I highly doubt. Bigger turbo and intercooler would be required.
There is no intercooler in the TSi and none is required as the cooling happens within the intake manifold itself. These are actual numbers measured at wheels of folks I know >125 whp after mods on a dyno.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
TDI produce way way more torque than the TSI (250 against 16x IIRC) and it shows in the performance too. TD both back to back and you will know.
What will be sorely missed though is the refinement of the Petrol. The diesel on the VW is crude.
Its 175Nm vs 250Nm. However the torque spread in the TSi is much wider : 1500rpm-4100rpm versus a narrow band of 1500rpm-2500rpm in a diesel.

Having driven both back to back (4-5 times), I'd anyday choose the TSi as it pulls harder from lower down and for much much longer.

With an MTM or similar remap, one is looking at 140ps, 230Nm from the TSi. Such remaps don't exist in the 1.5 TDi as the engine is india specific.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 12th July 2016 at 21:36.
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:33   #10
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
There is no intercooler in the TSi and none is required as the cooling happens within the intake manifold itself. These are actual numbers measured at wheels of folks I know >125 whp after mods on a dyno.
That's almost 40 percent gain for turbo petrol engine with minimal hardware mods(92-94 to 125-130 WHP). I just wish VW provided GT TSI with a manual transmission. DSG gearbox issue is a headache and post mods, the stress levels are going to increase further.
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:33   #11
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
Performance is my main priority.
Performance in a straight line?

The three choices you have shortlisted have similar power figures, but each has their own steering and handling characteristic.

So what exactly are you looking at? The 0-100 figure or something else?
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:38   #12
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
That's almost 40 percent gain for turbo petrol engine with minimal hardware mods(92-94 to 125-130 WHP). I just wish VW provided GT TSI with a manual transmission. DSG gearbox issue is a headache and post mods, the stress levels are going to increase further.
The gearbox is 80% of the fun in the TSi - no manual can replace it as the ratios are so perfectly tuned for the engine. Go get a long test drive and then come back saying you want a manual . Trust me you won't even care.

Gearbox gremlins are the least in the GT TSi compared to the other models. Also VW these days is replacing the gearbox under goodwill no questions asked even after warranty expires.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 12th July 2016 at 21:39.
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Old 12th July 2016, 21:38   #13
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Performance in a straight line?

The three choices you have shortlisted have similar power figures, but each has their own steering and handling characteristic.

So what exactly are you looking at? The 0-100 figure or something else?
I am just looking for a pure driver's car at this budget post all modifications. 0-100 is not my priority. All the cars mentioned here have decent handling. Abarth has the best suspension setup. Polo has little soft rear and Figo has average steering feel/response. But Polo/Figo can't be termed bad in handling department. Tyres/Brakes/Suspension upgrade would be considered after performance mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
The gearbox is 80% of the fun in the TSi - no manual can replace it as the ratios are so perfectly tuned for the engine. Go get a long test drive and then come back saying you want a manual . Trust me you won't even care.
I agree buddy. Out of all automatic cars I have driven, BMW 320D was the best followed by Polo GT TSI and Rapid TDI DSG.

What GT TSI lacks is torque while TDI would be a torque monster post all the mods.

"Horsepower sells cars and Torque wins races - Enzo Ferrari "

Only drawback in GT TDI is crude engine and recently I have not noticed that gearshifts in new Polo/Vento is not as slick as before.

Update :

Few tuners have confirmed to me that regular Polo 1.5 TDI and GT TDI differs only in ECU tune. So even a normal 1.5 TDI can be taken to same levels as stage 2 remapped GT TDI. Now even a regular Polo 1.5 TDI comfort line variant can be considered (save around 1.5 lakhs). I believe it has Airbags and ABS.

Last edited by Dr.Naren : 12th July 2016 at 21:50.
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Old 12th July 2016, 22:27   #14
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
Abarth has the best suspension setup. Polo has little soft rear and Figo has average steering feel/response. But Polo/Figo can't be termed bad in handling department. Tyres/Brakes/Suspension upgrade would be considered after performance mods
Sounds like you're looking at a project car to play with. Why not a used 1.6 TDi instead of current GT? Stock 1.6 GT was much better than the current 1.5, but I'm not sure about remapped versions of these.

Also, is the S Cross really that bigger than these cars? With the SCross, you have a much bigger budget for upgrade. I have a gut feeling a modded SCross 1.6 will run circles around these cars with performance and suspension upgrades. It's not really all that big when you compare to other forum favorites like Laura, Jetta, Rapid etc.

Plus exclusivity. You have tonnes of modified GTs already and Figo will soon be there as well. How unique would your car be finally after all the mods? Hardcore 1.6 SCross? Now that would be a new direction.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 12th July 2016 at 22:30.
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Old 12th July 2016, 22:29   #15
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Default re: Best Hatchback for an Enthusiast - Under 14 lakhs (with mods)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Naren View Post
I am just looking for a pure driver's car at this budget post all modifications.
Post mods, all would be good, but some would be better in certain areas.

I haven't driven the Figo, and have only had a couple of brief test drives in the Tsi and the Abarth, but I am assuming that the Abarth will be very similar to my T-jet in driving characteristics. In my 2+ years I have found that although a pleasure to drive it really isn't a city car, even with the remap. It's easier to drive my 10 year old Swift in stop-go traffic because of the better throttle response being a NA engine. The Jet is much better on the highway where you can use that midrange torque, and I assume the Abarth will be the same. So I wouldn't recommend the Abarth if you are planning to use it mostly in the city.

Whatever car you choose, it still will be a blast to drive. Cheers.
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