Classic Hot Hatches of the 1980s – Part 2

We’re continuing our look at the boy racers’ cars of choice in the next part of our hot hatches of the 80s.

Citroen AX GT

Citroen’s version of the hot hatch came in the tiny AX. Weighing only 750kg and housing a 1.4l 86 HP engine, the AX GT could reach 0-60 in 9.0 seconds on its way to a top speed of 107 mph. A true feat of engineering, it’s a perfect example of how to make the most of a tiny frame. There’s no flab anywhere and the AX is about as pure a driving experience as possible. It’s fast enough to keep you scared of flying into a nearby ditch but handles like its glued to the roa.d. A hugely underrated car. You can pick up a mint example today for around £6.5k


Ford Escort RS Turbo

Launched in 1985, the Escort RS turbo was the upgrade to the boy racer classic the XR3i. The turbocharged 1.6l turbo 132HP engine could propel the car 0-60 in 8.3 seconds. The upmarket alloys, Recaro seats and limited skip differential made it hugely popular. 5000 were made and all but one was painted white. The other was a black version that was made specifically for Diana, Princess of Wales.


Peugeot 309 GTi

The Peugeot 205 was loved by the petrolhead community but it’s cousin, the 309, was arguably the better car. It had the same 1.9l 126HP engine from the 205 GTi but offered better handling and road position, making for a more enjoyable drive.


MG Maestro Turbo

The very last car produced by the Austin Rover Group, the sports badged MG Maestro Turbo was launched in 1989 and only 500 of them were produced. Using a tweaked turbo-charged 2l engine it had a top speed of 128 mph and could reach 0-60 in 6.7 seconds. Never cool, but it could keep up with all the top hot hatches of its era.

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