I need to be honest. I don’t know anything about Enemigo. They’re one of those companies that’s always just been in the background and that I’ve only just started paying attention to. A string of new cars has brought them to the fore, and indeed to the Enemigo S that stands in front of me.
It is, as far as I can tell, a hot hatch. Not exactly the most sporty looking one, nor the most competent. The back is dull, while the front is like a tribute band to the Triumph Herald. An unusual combo, and the interior isn’t much more interesting either. Very, very simple indeed. There’s equipment here, no doubt, but don’t expect high quality.
Still though, the engine is more promising. 238 hp 2.0l i4, a solid choice for a hot hatch. Plus, it’s rear wheel drive. And that does make a difference; there aren’t many other cars of this type for £20k asking price. Result? 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, top speed of 148mph. Decent, I have to say, though the lack of looks is still bugging me. I’m not even sure it’s a hot hatch to be honest. It technically isn’t even a hatchback.
That said, it does drive well. Power band is nice with fruity kick in from the VVT/L, and it sounds good too. It is loud though, with quite a lack of sound insulation, meaning I can’t imagine long drives being that fun. The ride isn’t comfortable by any means, but it’s decently nimble. Not sharp - which isn’t helped by its thin front wheels - but precise enough to be something you can push a bit. The chassis is fantastic, with gorgeous weight balance and low overall mass. The result is that it feels controlled. I dare say it feels quite old school - a soft on the edges, not as sharp as modern stuff but still quick enough to be fun - though the active suspension gets in the way of that suspension of disbelief.
It also feels old school with its brakes. They are not as sharp as you expect, especially for a car with vented disks. Quite a lot of force is required to drive safely, especially when at speed, though it’s something that could be sorted out post-purchase. Fix the brakes and fiddle about with the active suspension and you could have a really, properly great performance machine here.
Then again, at this kind of price, it’s ripe for modding and aftermarket work. This is, after all, a car that will out compete any of the low-end hot hatches and under cuts them considerably on price. It’s a bit without focus, and the looks will perplex some - though I do feel they might end up being quite quirky in a tasteful way in years to come. There’s also no denying its solid power train, and that rear wheel drive bonus. You really can’t ignore this car’s strong points. At this price point, few cars offer such promise.
I’m keeping my eye on the Enemigo. A refresh a few years down the line that resolves these slight issues and generally cleans up the brakes and sharpens it a bit too, and this thing will be a proper bargain. Either that, or I’ll keep promoting it as a great car to modify. It has plenty of potential, and is just needing the right person fulfill it.
- Gavin Anderson