History of Hot Hatches in ten cars
Ten fast, diminutive hatchbacks that chart the hot hatch genome
Posted: 14 Jun 2013
1976 Renault 5 Gordini
This little Renault's launch date just pipped the Golf GTI's by a few months, so it just slips in as the icon's predecessor. It got a 1.4-litre engine - mounted well behind the front wheels for better balance - making 92bhp, which could hit 60mph in 9.7 seconds and topped out at 104.7 mph. It also had other hot essentials like front and rear spoilers and BIG SHOUTY RACING STRIPES.
Called the Gordini in Britain and the Alpine everywhere else, it had the potential to be a full-blown legend. If it weren't for the success of the Golf, people would talk about this car in the same way as the Mk1 GTI.