The hot hatch RESURRECTION
Fast yet practical (sometimes), the hot hatch has got a new lease of life
Recently I sat in an auction and witnessed a Ford Fiesta RS Turbo from 1991 sell for just under £20k, classic car values have been soaring in the past few years but now this trend seems to be reaching the hot hatches of the 80's and 90's. This era produced some of the most well known cars from the Mk1 VW Golf GTi to the Peugeot 205 GTi but from such a heyday the hot hatch suffered a little bit. Manufacturers seemed more interested in producing cars that gave us great MPG and saved the planet, that simply wasn't good enough, us petrol heads demand hot hatches! Now in 2016 it seems we are spoilt for choice!
Honda Civic Type R
The original hot hatches provided frivolous fun and boundless driving enjoyment. Taking an original car and 'pimping' it slightly had everyone hooked, I remember growing up and falling in love with the likes of the Vauxhall Astra GTE and VW Golf GTI. These cars seemed more realistic to own, you felt like they could be within your grasp financially unlike the supercars of the time and this is what made hot hatches extremely special.
Seat Leon Cupra R
From 2000 onwards the hot hatch took a back seat, very few were in manufacturers plans and ones that were being produced such as the Peugeot 206 GTi and the Ford Fiesta ST just didn't tick the right boxes. The death of the hot hatch was starting to become a reality, but, thankfully in recent times the hot hatch has seen some kind of a re-birth and now nearly all car makers feature a sport little hatch in their range. The resurrection of the hot hatch has begun.
Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeotsport
The modern hot hatchback still retains its usability and space but the engineering and acceleration that is now incorporated is absolutely mind blowing. I remember driving a Renault Clio 182 thinking how nippy and agile it felt, the 182 bhp felt plenty and the 2.0-litre petrol engine seemed a huge lump for the size of car. But oh how times have changed, recently I drove the Peugeot 208 GTi, 270 bhp and an acceleration that I can only compare to sh*t of a shovel. Hot Hatches are now in a completely different dimension.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Manufacturers are constantly battling against each other to produce the fastest hot hatch and the Nurburgring circuit provides a perfect place for them to compare figures. But to enable these cars to lap at such incredible speeds suspension set up and the addition of limited slip differentials are now being added to. The most recent Ford Focus RS comes with four wheel drive and a Drift mode. The ongoing competition is fierce, its not just about how a hot hatch makes you feel its now how good it is on paper, top trumps for the hot hatch world is as cut-throat as its ever been.
With all this new technology the car brands have also got to make the cars affordable, the 306bhp Honda Civic Type R retails at £30k but the Abarth 500 can be purchased for as little as £14k. There is a hot hatch to fit every budget or need and the saturation of the market is great news for the consumer, choice is power.
Hats off to the car manufacturers who are providing the 'petrol head' with an abundance of choices, technologies and prices that appeal to anyone and everyone. I don't know any 'car nut' who doesn't have a soft spot for a hot hatch and the classic value of old hatches means that you could also be purchasing an investment for the future.