Hot hatches are future classics and highly collectable, says one insurer.
Who can forget the incredible 80s, well except Gen Ys and millennials perhaps? The era of vintage Madonna, neon bodysuits, E.T. and of course amazing hatchbacks, thanks to the popularity of KITT, the almost-human like companion of Michael Knight in the iconic hit hit Knight Rider.
No doubt, the 1980s was the decade of the hot hatchback; a breed of cars that all-but killed the popular mass-market sports cars. Nearly every car or sedan variant seemed to include a hatchback version through the majority of this era. What was it that car manufacturers found so enticing to want to replace a classic trunk with a sloped window?
Heritage Car Insurance Managing Partner (left), Mark Wilkinson, said, “We offer a variety of packages to insure these amazing hatchbacks and more. My personal favourite is Volkswagen Golf GTI MK2 due to its originality, build quality, and because it was derived from the first GTI. It is interesting to note that these cars were standard fare on our roads just a little over 30 years ago. Yet, today they are considered ‘classics’, increasing in rarity and value.
“If you have a favourite underrated 80s classic, it is best to buy and insure them now before they become too expensive to acquire and maintain. Such cars will definitely be a great investment for the future.”
Here, Heritage Car Insurance takes a look at the top 5 most iconic hatchbacks of the 1980sthat could provide an insight into this burning question.
- FORD FIESTA XR2
The Ford Fiesta XR2 stood out in the hot hatchback market of the 1980s because of its popularity amongst regular drivers. Furthermore, its great looks and brilliantly smooth handling made it an instant showroom winner. Despite this, it used to get a hard time from professional car experts and road testers, often being beaten in tests by its French and German oppositions.
Today, however, the Fiesta XR2 continues to highlight all of Ford’s trademark appeal; fast, affordable and fun. It can still be found at your local dealerships for under £1,500. With a little fixing up, this baby will be as good as new. Plus, its value will only increase in the future.
- VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI MK2
The GTI MK2 was considered a fundamental improvement to the genre-defining MK1, launched in the previous decade. Interestingly however, the MK2 was neither the fastest, nor the most fun to drive amongst its hatchback counterparts. Yet, it was touted as the most complete, with a bigger interior, a more powerful engine, better handling and security as well as significantly reduced under-steer.
Now more popular than ever, the Golf GTI MK2 is possibly the most sensible retro hot hatch on the market. Spares are well catered for and the reliable hatch is generally pretty rust resistant if kept in good shape.
- PEUGEOT 205 GTI
Considered by many to be the Holy Grail of hot hatches, the Peugeot 205GTI is equal part light and equal part fast. It offers sharp-edged B-road performance with understated and classy looks and excellent build quality. Its reputation for ‘dangerous’ lift-off oversteer was largely overplayed, as this issue can be easily resolved with a set of good modern tyres.
Launched in 1984 in 1.6-litre form, the 130bhp 205 GTI 1.9 followed three years later to become one of the quickest as well as sweetest handling cars of its generation. The best aspect of the 205 GTI is that it communicates so well with its driver. It is responsive and steers like a go kart, and that’s why so many people still love them today.
- RENAULT 5GT TURBO
The Renault 5GT Turbo vied with the Peugeot 205 GTI and Volkswagen Golf GTI as one of the defining hot hatchbacks of its era. With a 0-60mph time in 7.1 secondsand a maximum speed of 123mph, it was certainly the quickest of the front runners.
The 5GT Turbo produced some fantastic performance figures with 115bhp and health 121lb ft of torque on tap, thanks to its low weight. The 5GT was inspired by Renault’s F1 car, strapped with a Turbocharger onto the 1.4-litre pushrod four-cylinder engine in the earlier Gordini. Today, the 5GT Turbo is rare and becoming increasingly expensive, with good cars costing upwards of £6,000.
- CITROEN AX GTI
Weighing in at just 720kg, but boasting impeccable performance, the Citroen AX GTI has definitely earned its title as the Rocky Marciano of hatchbacks; a featherweight that packs a giant-killing punch.
Drivers have always commended the AX for its zero flab, fantastic handling balance and steering feel. It was revealed that Citroen considered every last kilo when it developed the AX, making use of three-stud wheels and thin metal in non-structural areas of the body, as well as composite body panels to make the car as efficient as possible. This makes its 1.4-litre engine’s 101bhp surprisingly effective.
While the AX remain one of the best sought after hatchbacks from the 80s, it is very difficult to find today. A search through owners’ clubs would be the best option.