1. Despite turbocharged hot hatches being associated with Europe and Japan, in the 1980s the USA had some great examples as well. These included the Ford Merkur XR4Ti, Chevy Turbo Sprint, Ford Laser Turbo 4×4 and the 200bhp Dodge Shelby Charger Omni GKHS models.
2. In the ‘80s, many of the quickest hot hatches came out of Italy, including the Fiat Strada Abarth TC130, the Lancia Delta Turbo, the Fiat Uno Turbo and the Lancia Y10 Turbo. Unfortunately though, rust meant not many of them even made it through into the ‘90s. Bugger!
3. The 1989 MG Maestro Turbo was seriously rapid. Its standard 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds is still impressive now for a hot hatch. Unfortunately, they only made 505 of them and there are very few left now. Bad times.
4. Most Japanese hot hatches are well known, apart from the Mazda 323 GT-X and GT-R. Both were turbocharged and four-wheel drive. The GT-R was a real Cosworth and GTi-R rival.
5. The legendary Cosworth had a hand in building a hot hacth, the 1975 Chevy Vega Cosworth. Although the car wasn’t a success, we have heard of the Cosworth designed head being used on some big power race engines.
6. Everyone knows about the Renault 5 GT Turbo, but the first Turbo 5 was the Gordini, which came out over a year before the famous Golf GTi, and was actually quicker too!
7. Although the SEAT Ibiza Bocanegra and Fabia VRS are both twin-charged, Nissan beat them to it over 20 years ago with the Nissan Micra Super Turbo. This 900cc, twin-charged weapon had a 7.7 sec 0-60 time and an LSD as standard. Impressive stuff eh?
8. Some of the wildest hot hatches were also some of the earliest. In the late ‘70s, the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and the Vauxhall Chevette HS had rear wheel drive, 2.2ltr and 2.3ltr 16v lumps and lightweight chassis’.
9. It was never hugely popular due it being a bit odd, but the Citroen BX GTi was one of the best hot hatches of the ‘80s. With a 140mph top speed and great handling, it was much quicker on track than the more popular Peugeot 405 Mi16 that it shared its engine with.
10. The USA got in on the small hatch game in the ‘70s, with the AMC Spirit and Gremlin coming with 5ltr V8 engines and rear-wheel drive. The special editions were even better, with the Randall 401-XR Gremlin having a 6.6ltr engine. The almost standard AMX Spirits coming 1st and 2nd in class overall from the 210 cars in the 1979 Nurburgring 24 Hours.
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