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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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Proton Satria GTi

Think Proton and you probably think flat cap and pension book. And yet this Malaysian company was also responsible for one of the most intriguing hot hatches of its generation. The GTi version of the Satria three-door hatchback was mostly developed by Lotus (verified by its ‘Handling by Lotus’ badges), and it showed. Combine impressive grip and flat cornering with a twin-cam 1.8-litre (138bhp) ex-Mitsubishi engine and you have a performance car of real ability. Launched in the UK in 1999, the Satria GTi achieved only minor sales success, however, despite critical acclaim from all who drove it.


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