That's right, although Volkswagen was the brand to make the hot hatchback mainstream, it was in fact this, the Simca 1100TI that came first.
The chances are you have never heard of this car so let's have a look at this unsung hero in greater detail shall we? Built by French brand Simca, the 1100TI was based on the humdrum 1100 which was produced between 1967 and 1985. It wasn't until 1974 that we saw the hot variant of the 1100 though, but that was still two years before its German counterpart - the Golf GTI.
The 1100TI featured a 1.3 litre engine that was able to pack a simply tyre-busting...82bhp... This may seem tame, but it was based on the same engine used in the Matra-Simca Bagheera and was able to propel the 1100TI to a top speed of 105mph. Not too shabby. The 0-60 time is less impressive though, as that takes around 12 seconds - three seconds slower than the Golf GTI.
Other additions adding to the sportier performance include a reinforced clutch, firmer shock absorbers and of course, bigger brakes. Sadly though, this car was not sold in the UK so we will never know how successful it would have been but we should be eternally grateful all the same as this car the first of what is one of the best car genres in existence. Simca, I salute you!
Picture sources: picsautos and pininterest