Blast from the Past: 10 more of the best old school hot hatches
My previous article listed 10 of the best old school hot hatches and you guys loved it but more importantly you pointed out some vital cars that I missed first time round so it's only right that we continue the list with 10 more of the best old school hot hatches from back in the day!
10. Peugeot 205 GTi
One thing the French know how to do well is build a quirky hot hatch and Peugeot nailed it when they unveiled a GTi version of their already popular 205. Initially it was released with a 1.6 litre engine producing 105bhp but was later increased to a 1.9 litre with 130bhp with opinions being split on whether the rev happy smaller engine or the larger torque filled one was a better fit for the car. Either way, it's a bloody good car.
9. Ford Escort Cosworth
Classed as one of the best hot hatches ever made, the Escort Cosworth is distinctive from a mile away with its 'whale tail' rear wing, bulging body kit and its outright performance. With help from all wheel drive and 227bhp, the Cossie was a weapon on both track and the road although production didn't go to smoothly with the first 2,500 cars suffering from horrible turbo lag. Later on Ford addressed the issue by reducing the size of the turbo and all was well again.
8. Renault 5 Turbo
Renault have made so immense hot hatches over the years and the 5 Turbo is right up there with the best. The looks can be subjective but I think it's bloody cool and even by today's standards it's a pocket rocket that boasts a small but pokey 1.4 litre turbocharged engine with 158bhp. God knows what it must of felt like back in the 80s.
7. Renault Clio V6
Another Renault makes the list with the Clio V6. The basic recipe for a successful hot hatch is a small engine, a short wheelbase and as less weight as possible which is why you could class the V6 as a lone wolf due to the rear wheel drive and the, er, V6 engine that resides within. Despite this it has become a bit of a rarity with many being added into private collections and for a good reason - it's fantastic. Although dragging along the extra weight, Renault have somehow managed to keep the chassis tight and the steering direct, just like any other hot hatch.
6. Mini Cooper
Okay so in my first article I claimed that the Mark 1 Golf GTi was perhaps the original hot hatch but I think I was wrong. The Mini Cooper came long before and completely changed the way small cars could be used as weapons with many, many examples being sold all over the world. Being as light as a feather means the little Mini could take on much bigger and badder rivals on the road, the track and also rallying. They're beyond cool if you ask me.
5. Vauxhall Nova GSI
So the Nova doesn't have the best reputation as a cheap and uninspiring car for the chavs of Britain but behind all of the crappy body kits, massive exhausts and banging sound systems Vauxhall had actually made a half decent car - the GSI. It wasn't very quick and it wasn't up to the task of taking on its competitors but it was a hoot to drive. I've only driven one for about an hour but chucking it around some back lanes was great fun.
4. Fiat Uno Turbo
Okay, so I have a massive soft spot for the Fiat Uno Turbo and I seem to be the only one of my friends who seems to like them. They may not be the prettiest of cars and they may not be the fastest of cars but you have to give respect where it's due. It may only have a dinky 1.4 litre turbocharged engine with 118bhp but it was a blast to drive with more than enough ooomph to compete with much bigger cars although reliability issues let the car down a tad.
3. MG Metro 6R4
Okay this one is slightly cheating but it deserves a mention on this list. Built from the ground up to be a Group B monster, the 6R4 was separate from the other rally cars because it adopted a theory that instead of having a heavily turbo charged 4 cylinder, a larger displacement meant no turbo was needed, thus reducing any power lag. A 3-litre V6 engine was the outcome with 400bhp and a 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds. Bat shit insane? Hell yes.
2. Citroen Xsara VTS
Another soft spot for me is the Citroen Xsara and more specifically the hot VTS variant which sits above the warm VTR. Successful as a hot hatch and even more so in rallying, the Xsara is an important part of Citroen's history as one of their best, if not the best, hatchback they made. It doesn't have massive amounts of power or any trick gadgets but it does what it's supposed to do - be fun!
1. Ford Fiesta RS1800
Over the years Ford have created many, many incredible cars, both road and track orientated that have paved the way for the cars they currently make today. The Fiesta may be sat at the bottom of the food chain but that doesn't make it soft with the RS1800 being a prime example of that. Its predecessor, the RS Turbo, struggled to keep up with the competition from the French hatches and was later replaced by the 1800 due to emissions. Luckily it stepped up the game and was more successful as a hot hatch.
Have I missed any? Please feel free to let me know!