Well we have all probably had one but which was the best, that got our minds flowing here at OffTheClothBoff so here is our list….
Toyota Corolla GTI-16
The Toyota Corolla GTI-16 was first produced in the late 80s, but the majority were made in the 90s. As such, this is a 90s hot hatch, and a mint condition one today will cost you in excess of £8k thanks to their rarity. This is one of the most retro looking hot hatches in the world. It was powered by a 1.6-litre engine, and it was a good performer in the twisties.
Volkswagen Golf GTI MK4
The MK1 and MK2 VW Golf GTI’s were exceptional cars, the MK3 was a good car, and the MK4 was merely average. VW fattened their hot hatch and did little to add power to keep the evolution of speed going. In mid-1999, VW launched the GTI MK4 with a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that produced just 115 bhp, and it was a serious underperformer with a 0 – 62 mph time of 10.5 seconds. The best early MK4 GTI’s had a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine, with 150 bhp and a 0 – 62 time of 8.5 seconds. Even these models, though, were slower than the MK1, MK2, and MK3.
Seat Ibiza 2.0 MPI GTI
Produced between 1996 and 1999, the Seat Ibiza 2.0 MPI GTI was a powerhouse. The 2.0-litre engine produced 148 bhp and 132 lb /ft of torque. This was the first Seat to ditch the older 1.8 16v unit found in other Ibiza models and Volkswagen Golf’s. Although this hot hatch is no classic, it’s a tempting and fast proposition with a good model going for around £1.5k today.
Proton Satria GTi
With a 1.8-litre Mitsubishi-sourced 4G93p engine, the Proton Satria GTi was a good performer out on the open road. With 138 bhp this little beast would go from 0 – 62 mph in 7.5 seconds and it handled like a go kart. Produced from 1999, this car didn’t sell so well in Europe, but they command a premium of around £4k today in mint condition.
Volkswagen Golf 2.8 V6 4MOTION
Introduced in Europe in 1999, the Volkswagen Golf 2.8 V6 4MOTION is the predecessor to the stunning R32. The beauty of this hot hatch, compared to the R32, was that it looked like any regular Golf until you put your foot down, and the 204 bhp 2.8-litre V6 engine kicked in to give a 0 – 62 mph time of just 7.1 seconds. With 4MOTION all-wheel-drive and a top speed of 146 mph, this Golf was a true sleeper. A well looked after version can be had for as little as £2500 today.
Volkswagen Golf GTI MK3
The third generation Volkswagen Golf made its debut in Germany in 1991, and it was two years later in 1993 that VW introduced the new Golf GTI. This car had a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that developed 148 bhp. The car was a much nicer everyday car than the previous generation, with better equipment and a fresher interior, but it wasn’t a better drivers car. It had the same 8 second 0 – 60 time as the GTI MK2 but it lacked the same visual punch. As such, MK3 GTI’s today can be picked up for next to nothing, whilst the classic MK2 commands a higher premium.
Audi S3 MK1
This fantastic hot hatch set the standard for early hot hatches in the 2000s, with its inline-four 20v 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The early model which makes our list had a power output of 207 bhp and 203 lb /ft of torque. With Quattro all-wheel-drive, this car was and still is a serious weapon, and it’s a tuners favourite thanks to the easily modifiable Audi TT engine. A little known fact about this car is the Quattro system was not actually Quattro – it used a Haldex Traction coupling system that adjusted the bias of torque distribution between the front and rear axle.
Nissan Sunny GTI-R
The Nissan Sunny GTI-R was a truly bonkers hot hatch. With a power to weight ratio of 0.083 and all-wheel-drive, this beast could accelerate from 0 – 62 mph in 5 seconds flat and go onto a top speed of 144 mph. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine produced a thumping 227 bhp and 210 lb /ft of torque, which was enough to dust even the mighty RS Cosworth. This car was so fast that it competed in Group A rally. An original condition Sunny GTI-R will cost you more than £10k today.
Ford Fiesta RS Turbo
The Ford Fiesta RS Turbo, produced between 1990 – 1992, was based on the earlier XR2i which was one of the best hot hatches of the 80s. With 14-inch alloy wheels on 185/55 Pirelli tyres, the RS Turbo handled like a dream and was among the best hot hatches to drive on the limit. Power came from a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produced 131 bhp and 134 lb /ft of torque. This was enough for the RS Turbo to accelerate from 0 – 62 mph in just 7.9 seconds, but because the Garrett T2 turbocharger had a higher power potential, many Fiesta RS Turbo’s made closer to 160 bhp tuned.
Honda Civic Type R EK9
The 1st generation Honda Civic Type R is quite an icon now, and it’s among the most favoured cars by tuners in Japan. This car was based on the 6th-gen ‘EK’ Civic, and Honda worked hard on the chassis and suspension to produce a hot hatch ready for the race track. The EK9 was one of the best hot hatches in the twisties, with a low kerb weight and hardly any sound proofing, which added to the experience. The engine was a 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit, which at the time had the highest output for its capacity – 182 bhp. In 1998, Honda released an ultimate edition, the Type R Motor Sports.
Renault Clio Williams
Among the rarest of all hot hatches, the Renault Clio Williams was a stunning hot hatch produced in 1993. Only 12,100 of these little beasts were made and the number in circulation today, in standard form, is expected to be less than 1000. The Williams had a 2.0-litre 16-valve straight-4 engine rated at 144 bhp and a top speed of 134 mph. Based on the Clio 16S, the Williams is often confused with its earlier brethren, and a common mistake made is assuming that the engine in the Williams is simply a bored out version of the 16Ss, because it isn’t.
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
It should not come as a surprise that this iconic hot hatch has come first place. Produced between 1992 and 1996, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth was an extreme 3-door hatch with all-wheel-drive and a chassis designed to qualify for Group A rally. It was, without a doubt, one of the best handling cars of its generation. It was also one of the best looking. Standard, the Escort RS Cosworth produced 225 bhp and 229 lb /ft of torque, which was enough for the car to go from 0 – 62 mph in just 5.7 seconds. The most expensive versions today are completely standard and un-tuned, with a price tag in excess of £15k.