Fwd is a lot of fun, it is a unique driving experience that is both challenging and rewarding to master. Here are my favourite fwd machines to chuck around in. Honourable mentions to the Acura Integra Type-R and Volvo 850R.
10. Citroen 2CV6
Utterly mad in a racing game to put in a basic, slow French farmers car. But the humble 2CV6 is a brilliant car. Rag it and it becomes a really enjoyable machine to chuck around. You never go very fast but you have buckets of grip gluing the car to the road. The tremendous body-roll means the wheels never leave the ground, even when the flip-down windows are scraping the road.
9. Ford Focus RS
The first super-hatch shoved 212 bhp through the front wheels. Drive it and you can see the LSD, whilst optimistic was promoted beyond its ability so expect torque steer. Still, be gentle with the throttle and you can appreciate the brilliant chassis and a historic car. It is also fun to take to the dirt.
8. Mini John Cooper Works GP
The first of the hardcore hot hatchbacks in this list offers a very good package. It's a Mini so will already have good cornering ability, add in these GP modifications and it makes the Mini feel like a real fwd track machine.
7. Lancia Fulvia HF
This would be included on this list for its looks alone, let alone its poised handling balance and smooth power delivery both on and off road. Making use of a little V4 engine the little Lancia dominated rallying and would equally dominate your heart.
6. Honda Civic Type R
A naturally aspirated VTEC screamer would always do well on this list. This Civic is one of the best useable hot hatchbacks of all time. Handling may not be as sweet as other on this list but is a truly enjoyable experience. I didn't put the more recent Civic here because I feel it doesn't have the handling characteristics associated with fwd. Instead of flicking between understeer and lift-off oversteer and feeling how weight transfer affects your cornering, it feels too planted. It doesn't embrace the uniqueness of fwd, being almost embarrassed to admit it.
5. Ford Fiesta ST
The darling of the British Press and a car that reignited wider Britains interest in sporty models of normal cars. The Fiesta combined a simple formula of a nice peppy engine, good chassis control and fun steering. Place all of that in a car that was affordable to the masses and you have a brilliant contender here.
4. VW Golf GTI MK II
Controversial but I prefer this to the MK I, faster and a more refined 'folded origami' body make this generation the one to have. The power delivery is better meaning there is more room to exploit the sweet chassis than in the Mk I.
3. Renault Clio 200
The last generation of the Clio before turbochargers and 5-doors muddied the waters, the 200 represented the pinnacle of Renault's journey to the top of the fwd world. I see this as the perfect modern hot hatch, the perfect formula of every-day usability partnered with delicious handling and genuinely usable performance.
2. Renault Megane R26R
The most hardcore of hatchbacks, the R26R is a genuine track car with brilliant handling and near-perfect power delivery. Placed so high on this list because of the dynamics and the sheer lunacy, it can claim to be a genuine sports car beater.
1. Mini Cooper S
An obvious choice, the first Mini Cooper S was fettled to take the icon racing. With the wheelbase so short, chassis so sorted and the car so light, it is an experience that simply cannot be matched or equalled. Described as a go-kart for the road, take one for a spin and see for yourself. Also, the way this car can get lift-off oversteer is one of the easiest ways to have fun without hitting a tree.
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