Un­cle Rob

Car (South Africa) - - EDITOR’S LETTER -

was a hap­pen­ing guy in the ‘80s. His en­gag­ing per­son­al­ity,

the right hair­cut and the keys to a cer­tain red hatch­back made him a hit with the ladies. Fresh out of high school, I fig­ured he was some­one I needed on my male role-model list.

I worked on my con­ver­sa­tion skills, grew a mul­let and started sav­ing for the hatch­back. Of all the weapons in his con­sid­er­able lady-killer reper­toire, I cov­eted Un­cle Rob’s Opel Kadett GSI the most. With its 1,8-litre en­gine de­liv­er­ing a mighty 85 kw, it could just dip un­der 10,0 sec­onds for the 0-100 km/h sprint and the speedo would nudge 200 km/h if you were as brave and dar­ing as my un­cle.

I also had a Kadett, but it was the boxy, pre­vi­ous­gen­er­a­tion 1,1-litre base model and the ladies did not like it all that much. I would even­tu­ally scrape to­gether enough money to make a down pay­ment on the clos­est GSI equiv­a­lent I could af­ford – the 160 GSE – and soon af­ter met my wife. High five, Un­cle Rob.

One of our cover cars this month made me think of him. Like his GSI, the Honda Civic Type R will be cov­eted by many a young man, but that’s about the only thing the GSI and Type R have in com­mon. It’s a real eye-opener to see just how much more pow­er­ful and faster hot hatches have be­come over the last 30 years. The Type R pro­duces nearly three times as many kilowatts as the GSI, but even that power peak is shy of the out­puts achieved by a crop of hy­per hatches spear­headed by the Audi RS3, Ford Fo­cus RS, Mercedes-amg A45 and up­com­ing Golf R420.

Can you imag­ine what Un­cle Rob would’ve got­ten up to in those?

Email: car@ram­say­media.co.za Steve­smithza

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