There is a lot of debate over which is the greatest hot hatch of all time. The Peugeot 205 GTi and the VW Golf Mk1 both put their hands firmly in the air as potential candidates to take the crown, but this list doesn't consider the best hot hatches, it only considers the coolest hot hatches. I don't want to know about 'perfect balance' or 'nimble informative steering.' No, I just want cool.
Measuring cool is an impossible task, but I am a man that owns an Alfa Romeo jumper and whose first cassette bought was Eiffel 65's 'Blue (Da ba dee)', so there aren't many more qualified people on this earth to judge cool.
Hot hatches in general are cool, but there is a fine line between looking looking like an ASBO hooligan and the epitome of cool chic.
So, strap in and I'll take you through the 100% perfect list of the 13 coolest hot hatches of all time.
13) Ford Escort Cosworth
Not a bad way to kick off the list. The Ford Escort Cosworth would have been much higher on this list as the working class hero of the '90s with that ridiculous rear-wing, however, in recent years it has become a victim of inflated prices which take away some of that cool level. Some cars can get away with a price hike and remain cool, as you will see later in the list, but the Escort Cossie doesn't that well I'm afraid. You can't have an £70,000 working class hero... Next.
12) Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf
I won't go down the old argument of 'if you haven't owned an Alfa Romeo, you aren't a real petrolhead,' because as I'm not a 45 year old man who has their finances controlled enough to frivolously spunk it on a more than likely unreliable car, I feel that is unfair (Mr Clarkson). I do love them dearly however, and the Cloverleaf badge gives me the fizz.
11) Honda Civic Type R EK9
The Honda Civic Type R is a hot hatch that gets its fair share of ridicule and mean memes. It is a car that is constantly walking the tight-rope of being cool or being a hooligan's rev-monster. I'm going to jump off the fence today and place the EK9 Type R into the cool camp. Enough time has passed that these are becoming a rarity and Type R white wheels are so bloody 'in' right now.
10) Renault Clio Williams
There aren't many things that shoot you up the cool list as quickly as having a Formula 1 team association and gold rims. The Renault Clio Williams has the simple clean look with a load of flair thrown at it. The 2.0-litre engine is also a joy to behold. If this was really slow, it would never make the list, but thankfully they nailed it.
9) Talbot Sunbeam Lotus
Any small vehicle with Lotus associated is cool. Even the Proton Satria with Lotus influence almost made this list. Don't worry, it didn't.
8) Nissan Pulsar GTI-R
Another car that could fall into the over the top category, but just works is the Pulsar GTI-R. It holds its aggression on its sleeve and is loved for it.
7) Fiat Tipo Sedicivalvole
No, I've not lost my marbles. This hot hatch isn't the fastest, best handling or best looking. It has one major thing going for it. The name. Here is a typical conversation as an owner:
Captain of the Swedish volleyball team: Hi, your car looks mundane, what is it called?
Owner: Fiat... Tipo... (*whispers*) Sedicivalvole...
Captain of the Swedish volleyball team: *knees weaken, faints*
6) Peugeot 205 Rallye
Taking the spot away from the Peugeot 205 GTi is the Peugeot 205 Rallye. The GTi's prices have rocketed too far and taken the cool factor away. Topping the list as the best hot hatch ever means that everyone has an opinion on it. Not to sound hipster, but has become too mainstream for this list. The Rallye has taken the crown in the 205 household as the king of cool. Now watch their prices rocket too...
5) Alfa Romeo 147 GTA
A 3.2-litre engine in a small Alfa Romeo is achingly cool. Can it handle well? Absolutely not, but it really couldn't matter less. One of the best looking hot hatches ever.
4) MG Metro 6R4 Clubman
Things are getting serious now. In at number 4 is the MG Metro 6R4 Clubman. Do cars get more aggressive than this? Absolutely batshit crazy, but it works.
3) Lancia Delta Integrale
This will be a lot of people's number one, but it is pushed down to the number three spot by two French hot hatches. I think you'll understand when you see both of them. The Lancia Delta Integrale is certainly a better driver's car than the top two, but it doesn't quite steal my hear the way that France manages to.
2) Renault 5 Turbo 2
Just look at it. The Renault 5 Turbo 2 has rocketed up in price, but unlike the Escort Cossie, it doesn't deduct any cool points. Why? I honestly don't know. I could look at this picture all day and not get bored. Every angle is just so interesting. There is only one car that can top the cool charts ahead of this... and yes, it is another Renault.
1) Renault Clio V6
Va Va fucking Voom. The coolest hot hatch of all time is the Renault Clio V6. I don't want any arguments on this one. Feel free to contest me on all the other places, but this is a Renault Clio with a bloody 3.0-litre V6 sitting behind you. Old or new, it doesn't matter, they are both as cool as each other. Fin.
Head into the #classics chat to discuss how right I am: