Throw back to the 80s when the GTI was king and big shoulder pads were in.
Joyriders could steal a hot hatch faster than you could guess what Mr. Chips was doing on Catchphrase and before you knew it, your pride and joy had been used to ram-raid a Tandy.
Insurance companies soon cottoned on to the liability these souped up hatches posed and premiums began to rise astronomically.
And it wasn’t just the thieves driving them up. Owners more accustomed to the sedentary performance of a Morris Marina, soon found themselves torque steering their new Astra GTE into a ditch.
Manufacturers realised there was a market for go fast looks without the same performance and “steal me” GTI badge. The warm hatch was born, in all its go faster stripes and “sport” decals glory.
Vauxhall Nova SR
For a generation this was the sporty hatchback 17 year-olds could hope to attain and, more importantly, afford to insure. Retail parks saw these tearing up in front of Burger King on a Saturday night for a decade. It’s a shame the rear arches would rot faster than a bruised banana.
Find your own Nova.
Peugeot 205 XS/GT
The 3-door XS and 5-door GT both came with a twin-choke carburetor and 1360 cc engine that gave the nimble 205 some legs. Often underestimated, this model could surprise any GTI owner at the traffic light derby.
Find your own 205.
Ford Fiesta 1.4 S
This Mk2 Fiesta’s 1.4 engine was tuned for economy and didn’t live up to the performance of the Mk1’s 1.3 Supersport. What it lacked in performance it made up for with rally spotlights, red pin stripes, and white wheel trims.
Find your own Fiesta Mk2.
Renault 5 GTX
With a 1.7 engine in the little Renault, you would have thought it would go almost as quick as the 1.4 Turbo model. But it didn’t. With the same engine as a small volvo1, bodyroll and under-steer came a plenty. Perhaps it helped create an illusion of speed.
Find your own Renault 5.
With the old Mini A-Series engine upfront tuned to 72 bhp, these super minis had a turn of speed. They also came in a 93 bhp Turbo variety, if the prospect of flying around in this tin-can on wheels wasn’t scary enough.
Find your own Metro.