1989-1993 Vauxhall Nova GTE/GSi - Seems strange to suggest the Nova GTE/GSi are largely forgotten now, but numbers have taken a battering in recent years. In it's day it was one of the better hot hatches, if not quite popular as the Fiesta XR2i. But it was very tough and easy to modify. As such, a great many fell into the hands of rallyists and, notoriously, the Max Power brigade. Bad mods, crashes and, of course, rampant rust have killed thousands in the last 15 years. Just 105 remain. By contrast, 240 XR2is still exist. And yes, I know it's an Opel in the picture.
The hot hatch boom of the Eighties produced some of the great icons of motoring history. Peugeot 205 GTi, Volkswagen Golf GTi, Ford Escort XR3i, Renault 5 GT Turbo and so on, and so on.
But for every one that’s now a household name, there are at least three that have faded into obscurity. Not because they were bad, though some undoubtedly were. Rather, they lacked the cache, or were simply too left field to catch on when they were new. And now disinterest and rust has consigned most to the great scrap yard in the sky.
Let’s celebrate these oddities before they disappear entirely. Here is the Only Motors top five unsung hot hatch heroes.