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Top 10: Forgotten hot hatches

It was the original Volkswagen Golf GTi that kickstarted the hot hatch sector, leading to a plethora of copycat models from rival manufacturers. Some of them sold in huge numbers and are now revered on the modern-classic scene, whilst others have largely disappeared off the radar.

For every best-selling go-faster 205, Escort and Golf there were a number of less popular hot hatches that were fairly rare when new – and are positively scarce all these years later. So let’s celebrate some of the most overlooked hot hatch classics, paying tribute to those that many of us have long since forgotten about.

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Renault 11 Turbo

Launched in 1983 and derived from the four-door Renault 9 saloon came the 11 hatchback, an unexciting and relatively bland machine. That was until the following year, when Renault strengthened its presence in the hot hatch sector with the new 11 Turbo, using the same 1397cc turbocharged engine (in a 115bhp state of tune) as the forthcoming Renault 5 GT Turbo. The healthy performance (top speed 115mph, 0-60 in 8.8 seconds) offered by the fastest Renault 11 brought some extra publicity to the line-up, although it remained very much a niche choice in the UK market.


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