The Volkswagen Golf GTI started the hot hatch revolution, killing off the traditional sportscar at the same time
Having scored such huge global success with the Beetle, Volkswagen then annoyed its rivals by repeating the same trick with its small hatchback Golf. This Giugiaro-designed masterpiece was exactly the right car at the right time, but it was in GTI form, from 1975, that it was most impressive. The car that first earned the term ‘hot hatch’ used a Bosch fuel-injection 1588cc engine to pump 110bhp through its front wheels and the tight and nimble handling meant all this could be used to the max. A 1781cc engine and quad headlamps marked out 1982’s 1800 model.