Journey Through The Evolution Of The Hot Hatch At The Performance Car Show


January 12, 2016 By Mike Lee
Last updated on January 12, 2016

205 gti

  • Unique Evolution of the Hot Hatch display will form another must-see part of all-new Hot Hatch Nirvana celebration
  • See an unrivalled collection of iconic hot hatches that have defined and developed the genre over the decades
  • Ford, Fiat, MINI, Peugeot, Renault and Volkswagen represented along with the world’s first-ever hot hatch…
  • Get your tickets now at www.performancecarshow.com

Visitors to the Performance Car Show presented by Landsail Tyres in association with Autocar and PistonHeads.com will be treated to another incredible display of performance hatchbacks as part of the all-new Hot Hatch Nirvana theme for this year.

Called Evolution of the Hot Hatch, this brand new display will feature 10 hot hatches that have defined the genre for more than the last forty years. The display will take visitors on a wonderful journey, covering all of the key hot hatches that have moved the game on time-after-time.

Curating Hot Hatch Nirvana at the Performance Car Show presented by Landsail Tyres is highly experienced motoring journalist, Richard Bremner: “It’s a simple idea: fit a large engine beneath the bonnet of a small car typically used for commuting, shopping and the school run. The idea is almost as old as the car itself, and usually produces a highly entertaining drive. And it became a whole lot more appealing when Volkswagen installed a fuel-injected 1.6-litre engine in the original Golf back in 1976.”

“However the Golf GTI wasn’t the first hot hatch, as this display reveals, but it was the car that set the market alight. From its 110bhp 40 years ago we are now seeing fiery hatches mustering close to 400bhp. But the essence of the hot hatch remains the same – as practical, affordable, high performance grin-igniters.”

Come and see famed hot hatches such as the VW Golf GTI Mk1 as well as the Peugeot 205 GTi, which was unbeatable for driving thrills in its day thanks to its 113bhp 1.6-litre engine and lightning-quick gearshifts.

With its roll-cage and stripped-out interior the 227bhp Renaultsport Megane R26.R marked a step-change in what was achievable in the hot hatch arena. It set the lap-record for front-wheel-drive cars at the Nürburgring in 2008 thanks to supreme grip and pin-sharp handling. Alongside this, the 345bhp Ford Focus RS500 packed earth-shattering pace with a limited-slip differential and a trick ‘Revoknuckle’ front suspension system.

The 306 GTi-6 was Peugeot’s finest hot hatch since the 205 GTi. It was also the first hot hatch with a six-speed ‘box, though better was to come in the shape of the limited edition, lighter, defter Rallye, which you can see at the Performance Car Show.

In 2006 BMW’s MINI Cooper S morphed into the sensational limited edition GP. But only for two, the rear seats deleted as part of a performance-enhancing diet. Power rose to 218bhp and lowered suspension sharpened its reflexes.

Another drivers’ favourite is the Renaultsport Clio 182 Trophy. The 172 was very good, the 182 excellent but the final Trophy 182 was outstanding, providing sophisticated dampers, lowered suspension, Recaros, Speedlines and a numbered plaque. Autocar judged it the ‘World’s Greatest Hot Hatch’ in 2005.

Representing today’s modern hot hatches is the Abarth 695 Biposto, which carries just about every available Abarth tuning feature including a dog-ring gearbox. It’s small, but perfectly formed. Another hot hatch that’s new to market is the Peugeot 308 GTi 270 by Peugeot Sport. This hotter version of the 308 GTi has been lowered, runs a winder track and boasts stiffer springs over the standard version. An uprated 266bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine and a torsen differential are the order of the day and provides the perfect book-end to this brand new show feature.

The cars in the collection will give visitors a unique opportunity to recount their very own hot hatch adventures. Whether a hot hatchback was your first car, your favourite car, the car that you had your best drive in – or the car you wished you’d never sold – everyone has a story.

Ian France, Show Director, Autosport International and the Performance Car Show, said: “Hot Hatch Nirvana delivers an all-new dimension to the Performance Car Show. Fans will get a unique opportunity to see up to 20 of the finest hot hatches across two not-to-be missed show displays.”

That leaves just one outstanding car. So just what was the car that started it all? To find out, make sure you visit stand 19460 in Hall 19.

Don’t miss out on the exciting Hot Hatch Nirvana theme, taking place at the Performance Car Show presented by Landsail Tyres in association with Autocar and PistonHeads.com. Evolution of the Hot Hatch is one of two 10-car displays showcasing the very best in iconic pocket rockets. You can still play your part in deciding which hot hatches go on display at the show by voting for your favourite over at: www.performancecarshow.com/hothatchnirvana.

Don’t miss out on the chance to see all the above cars and more by buying your tickets now at www.performancecarshow.com