NOT KEEN ON SWEDES?

Octane - - LETTERS -

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?

Mark Dixon

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