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Hot Hatch Special

Fri, 27 Feb 2009

By the CAR road test team

27 February 2009 09:00

An astonishing 24,524 CAR Online readers voted in our poll to find the greatest hot hatch of all time – and the results are now in. Below we count down the top 46 pocket rockets, hot hatches and GTIs, as voted for by you. Read our verdicts – and yours – below, download the wallpapers of the most affordable sporting models on the planet. PLUS! Buy the new April 2009 issue of CAR Magazine where we reveal OUR favourite hot hatch of the past 35 years. Your results were dialled into our giant group test of the 13 landmark hasty hatches in a thrilling day at Silverstone. We’ve redesigned your favourite car magazine with the return of GBU, Insider and other old favourites. Try the new issue now!

Hot hatch wallpapers.
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The winner: full review of
Lancia Delta Integrale

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Built: 1988-94
You say: ‘An epic car and well deserved for the hottest of hatches’ (CAR Online user Asp)
Why it’s great: Even more successful than the Quattro, winning six world rally championships. We're still waiting for a successor




Built: 1977-80
You say: ‘The Turbo combined sturdy build quality, practicality and turbo performance’ (Motorbase)
Why it’s great: Debatable hot hatch status, but strapping a turbo to 99 did wonders for Saab’s stodgy image




Built: 1973-83
You say: ‘The Alfasud was a hot hatch no matter which version you had’ (CAR Online user Marchionne)
Why it’s great: Corosionally challenged, but great to drive and a huge influence on the market-changing Golf GTI



Built: 1979-83
You say: ‘The GTI was first and foremost an ‘engineers’ car.’ (Mk1 Golf Owners’ Club)
Why it’s great: The first to bring performance to the masses – and still do weekly shop. A legend was born



Built: 1984-1994
You say: ‘Really fast, loads of torque, handles like a go-kart’ (Parker’s owner review)
Why it’s great: Ultimate pocket rocket: featherweight body meets pokey engine and nimble, edgy chassis. Look and learn, 207 GTI



Built: 1993
You say: ‘Hard to believe that you can have so much fun for the money’ (Parkers owner review)
Why it’s great: Renault’s humdrum hatch turned Porsche slayer with F1 nous from Williams. Fabulous


Built: 2002-08
You say: ‘Even though it weighs more than other hot hatches, it still blummin’ shifts’ (R32 Register)
Why it’s great: We loved the GTI more, but the jalepeno-like R32 packs two more cylinders and all-weather conquering four-wheel drive


Built: 1992-96
You say: ‘Superb! Loads of grip, perfectly weighted steering and controlled ride’ (Parker’s owner review)
Why it’s great: Ford’s rally homologation special brought crazed WRC fizz to the masses. And that whaletail


Built: 1992-93
You say: ‘I would advise anyone to buy one! They are really fun to drive, with the reliability of any Jap car!’ (Review Centre)
Why it’s great: Adds madness to the mundane. A Sunny with 220bhp will brighten your day


Built: 1986-91
You say: ‘Excellent ride with plenty of feedback. It is also quicker than some new sports cars’ (Parker’s owner review)
Why it’s great: Ahead of time, Renault took a small car and turbo’d the bejesus out of it. Landmark pocket rocket


By the CAR road test team