The upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed will feature the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport sharing the hill climb with its well-respected ancestor, the Mk1 VW Golf. There are more than a few hot hatches from yesteryear that have fallen by the wayside as time progressed. Hot hatches like Toyota’s Corolla GTi, Nissan’s Almera GTI, and Skoda’s Fabia vRS have their place in history. Unfortunately, the manufacturers no longer make this sort of car.
On the other hand, there are hatchbacks like the VW Golf that come with an impressive lineage that harks back decades. I don’t mean to sound like a eugenicist, but pedigree is an important factor when looking at cars. Mind you, admirable parentage doesn’t always ensure a great car. Just look at the Mk 4 Golf. Below are some of the best hot hatches around that have real staying power:
September will see Ford’s supermini celebrating its 40th anniversary as well. The first generation model sold from 1976 to 1983 though there wasn’t a properly fast version until Ford launched the third generation Fiesta in 1989. Today, the Fiesta is one of the most sought after hatchbacks and the ST versions make the proposition even harder to ignore. Please launch an RS version soon, Ford.
Originally sold as the Morris Mini way back in 1959, a go faster version didn’t arrive until John Cooper met with Sir Alec Issigonis and convinced him to create the Mini Cooper and Cooper S in 1961. Branded in memory by its rally wins in the 60s, the Mini Cooper is still sold today, in design little different from its predecessor. The newest generation, built under the BMW umbrella, is very much still in demand.
First made in 1972, it wasn’t until the third generation that Honda decided to give the Civic some sporting credentials. A JDM 1.6-litre DOHC engine making about 120bhp was introduced in 1984 making enthusiasts of the time drool. Then came the Type-R which boasted Honda’s innovative VTEC engine technology, cementing this car’s name in history books. Today, the fourth generation Type R (10th generation since 1972) is one of the fastest hatchbacks around and contributes decently to Honda’s sales.