NOT KEEN ON SWEDES?
I FELT slightly disappointed with the cover feature by John Simister on hot hatches in Octane 151. This not only felt like a rehash of the same hot-hatch article I have been reading in every car magazine for the last ten years but also denied the limelight to some key le*-field players.
For some reason the Swedes are never included, despite producing arguably some of the finest examples. Take for instance the 1978 Saab 99 Turbo [above] – most definitely a hatchback and with a load-carrying capacity and mid-range acceleration that make a similar-age Golf look a bit silly. Volvo also had a crack at the hot hatch market with the 480ES, which in EFI or Turbo trim was a well-built and stylish alternative to the typical hot hatch affair of Burberry seats and naff plastic body kits.
Why the biannual classic hot hatch review always leads with the same slightly flaky French players, which were superb to drive but dire in many other respects, without ever taking a look at the less well-marketed period alternatives, is a mystery to me. THEO JALIL NORFOLK
We didn’t include the Saab 99 Turbo because it’s not widely regarded as a ‘hot hatch’ in the sense most people use the term. But are we wrong? What do other readers think?