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Thread: Hot Hatches: Where Are They Now?

  1. #1
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    Hot Hatches: Where Are They Now?

    So, I am getting busier these days, what with college and all, and I’ve kind of lost track of where hot hatches are and where they’re going. Back in my days of more Euro-centric car love, hot hatches were some of my favorite cars. These days I haven’t really paid much attention to them because they still aren’t sold here much and there haven’t been any ground-shatteringly important hot hatches released overseas, either.
    But then, the other day, I was dicking around on the internet and I saw a picture of the Renaultsport Megane. I was quite impressed by the styling, as I am to some degree with most contemporary Renaults, so I looked further into it and realized that I no longer know anything about the market for hot hatches. So this is the "getting hellcat back up to speed with what is going on in the hot-hatch world" thread.

    TL-DR: Basically the thread title minus the reality-TV flair; Where were they, where are they now, and what’s going to happen to them in the future?



    I think that having left the (‘90s-‘00s) bloat phase of their lives hot hatches will get slightly leaner, get smaller engines and bigger turboes. Though, using Top Gear as my only barometer, there seem to be less on the market than during the boom years. Obviously, this is probably a pretty awful way to gauge the market. I think they will also travel more upmarket, and while I’m not opposed to premium hatches, I don’t particularly like the idea of the cheap-and-cheerful hot hatch getting too blue-blooded.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
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    I think they are as much on the market now, as they were in the 80's. So probably this could be considered a second golden era.

    Do you have the template I sent you some days ago, and with help from others we can work on it?
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
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  3. #3
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    From Albert:
    -Early days (1976-1983) The introduction of the original Volkswagen Golf GTI.
    -Golden Era (1983-1992) The introduction of the Peugeot 205 GTI and later the introduction of the Renault Clio Williams which signals the end.
    -Decadence (1992-2002) Really boring stuff like Mk IV Golfs, but some gems still like the Peugeot 106 GTI.
    -Resurgence (2002-2009) The introduction of the original Ford Focus RS, and the time of fit the biggest engine you can under the bonnet with cars like the Golf R32, the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA or the BMW 130i. Also the king was back (Mk 5 GTI).
    -Modern Era (2009-) Hot hatches getting technologically more advanced and the popularisation of downsized direct fuel injected engines.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    I think they are as much on the market now, as they were in the 80's. So probably this could be considered a second golden era.

    Do you have the template I sent you some days ago, and with help from others we can work on it?
    For Europe maybe, not for the US. I still find the lack of hot hatches disturbing, as well as the cheap sports coupe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by f6fhellcat13 View Post
    From Albert:
    Thanks. Will try to develop from here.
    Quote Originally Posted by NSXType-R View Post
    For Europe maybe, not for the US. I still find the lack of hot hatches disturbing, as well as the cheap sports coupe.
    That's because they lack a market, like they always have. You didn't have many of the 80's greats either.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
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    You need to pick up the Top Gear Hot Hatch Megatest. It was in the July Issue. I think you can find it on their website. The result was that they thought the I believe (not quite sure) they picked a Renault Club Sport (or some other Renault) because of the great price, solid chassis, and the fact it was the only non turbo car their.

    I really couldn't tell you much else, hot hatches aren't nearly as common over here.
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    In N. America we usually just get the mildly warm hatches here....Ford Focus only got to SVT here, which is the equivalent of the ST170(1st gen), then we never got the 2nd gen Focus, nor the 1st Gen RS. The typical option here is GTI Golf. When GM brought the Astra over they still only get the ~140bhp model.

    A bit better on the Japanese side in the last half of the 2000s with the Mazdaspeed 3 and if you count something like Ralliart Lancer(new one), and WRX.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NSXType-R View Post
    as well as the cheap sports coupe.
    That's the one that's killing me, the cheap sports coupe. I adore those cars from Japan in the 90s, but they're all but gone now. If you think about the amount of cheap sports cars that Japanese car makers used to sell, and how many they sell now, it's scary.
    A prime example is Toyota. They once had the Supra, Celica, MR-2, Paseo and the Sera. They currently have no sports cars whatsoever. Largely the same can be said for Mazda, Nissan, Honda, etc.
    I'm hoping the Toyota FT-86 will sell well, inspire other makers to jump on the bandwagon, and revive a trend.
    All about the t-tops

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    Quote Originally Posted by TVR IS KING View Post
    That's the one that's killing me, the cheap sports coupe. I adore those cars from Japan in the 90s, but they're all but gone now. If you think about the amount of cheap sports cars that Japanese car makers used to sell, and how many they sell now, it's scary.
    A prime example is Toyota. They once had the Supra, Celica, MR-2, Paseo and the Sera. They currently have no sports cars whatsoever. Largely the same can be said for Mazda, Nissan, Honda, etc.
    I'm hoping the Toyota FT-86 will sell well, inspire other makers to jump on the bandwagon, and revive a trend.
    Absolutely.

    I loved the fact that the 240Z, the 300Z (wasn't really cheap, but still), the Integra, the Prelude, the Celica, the MR2, and the Supra were all together in the same period (maybe the Starion, Eclipse/Probe too, but those I never liked so much).

    And it's amazing that the Prelude and the Integra sold together without stepping on each other's toes.

    What did Honda do to bring them back? Nothing, and it killed the S2000 and the NSX and the Civic Type R (mostly because of emissions, but still).

    Toyota has the stupid FT-86 thing- I'll worry about when it hits the stores for real. The new Celica is a Scion, which is for the boy racer crowd.

    And Nissan is doing better, but it needs something under the 370Z.

    I hate the fact that everyhing sold today is either a SUV or a crossover or a sedan.

    No wagons, no hatchbacks, no sport coupes. It doesn't even have to be RWD, just make it light for god sakes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSXType-R View Post
    I hate the fact that everyhing sold today is either a SUV or a crossover or a sedan.

    No wagons, no hatchbacks, no sport coupes. It doesn't even have to be RWD, just make it light for god sakes.
    That's because pretty much these are the only things you will buy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    That's because pretty much these are the only things you will buy.
    No way man.

    The TSX wagon I'm interested in though, if it ever comes in a manual.

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    I want some inexpensive, light, Japanese RWD coupes that are around 20-25k (even FWD, hell).

    Sadly, people don't want them, even though they would make sense with these high gas prices. There is the Mustang and Genesis, but it'd be nice to see the Japanese get back into a game they were so good at formerly.

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    polo gti.
    that, the 500 and the megane thingo are the only ones i consider 'hot hatches'
    the RS is too big, the sti doesn't qualify however much subaru tries.
    they're supposed to be small and light damnit.
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    RS = hott hatch. End of.
    Life's too short to drive bad cars.

  15. #15
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    I can only speak from an Australian point of view on this topic, but as far as I can tell hot hatches have priced themselves out of the market. I know they've increased heavily in price all over the world but the way manufactures double and triple the value of their vehicles as they hit showroom floors in Australia is ridiculous.

    The concept of being a young driver who has worked hard and wants to reward himself with a performance orientated city car is dead. The only people who can afford them now are, from my experience, older people who are buying them as toys and already own two or three other cars. This is because a Golf R with most of the option boxes ticked is a $70 000 purchase, or in Australian terms enough for an A4, 3 Series, C Class, and almost enough for the A6, 5 Series and E Class.

    Admittedly the Golf R is probably the most expensive option and I only picked it because it's the one I would want but basically any other brand of hot hatch puts you in the $40-$50k bracket which is just stupid and enough for a lot of other nice cars.

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