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Question of the Week

Question of the Week: time to pick your French hot hatch hero

With plenty to choose from between Citroen, Peugeot and Renault, which small but mighty troublemaker gets your vote?

Published: 25 Mar 2024

It’s quite easy to appreciate a car with silly amounts of power and all the latest technology to keep said power planted on the road. But everyday hatchbacks with increments of lunacy sprinkled throughout? That’s a very different proposition entirely. 

The French are the very best at doing it, and this week, a national hero celebrated its 40th birthday: the 205 GTI. It may feel relatively slow by today’s standards, but it continues to serve as a go-to blueprint for distilled hot hatch riotry. 

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It’s not alone, either. In fact, its release coincided with the final production year for the fabled Renault 5 Turbo - one of the late Marcello Gandini’s finest-ever creations. The Turbo was followed by some worthy successors, like the Clio Williams or the plethora of hot Megane models.

The 205 GTI and the 5 Turbo showed the world that you could have supercar fun in a pint-sized body, and that you didn’t need a bouquet of blank cheques to do it. This forms the basis for our latest Question of the Week discussion: which French hot hatch do Top Gear readers think is the greatest of the lot?

Feel free to be as detailed as possible in the comment section, the best responses of which will structure Friday morning’s conclusion. We have a sneaking suspicion we already know what’ll come out on top…

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