B-Road weapons attack the tarmac

The May issue of Modern Classics is on sale from May 5th and, as usual, is over-brimming with features

We take a group of the smallest and most engaging hot hatches to Wales and remember what these cars are all about… having fun behind the wheel. But which of the five junior hot hatches is the fastest and most furious?

The poster supercars that adorned your teenage bedroom wall were invariably highly multicylindered, possibly Italian, bewinged and incredulously fat of tyre. Ultimate Top Trumps winners, they remain the perfect willy-waving ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ choice.

But here, on a seriously showstopping sequence of north Welsh roads a car such as a Lamborghini Diablo would be maximum overkill. Power thunderously out of a tight corner in first gear, and, er... remain in first; next bend, brake hard, accelerate in first and repeat, over
and over again…

What’s the use of hitting 65mph with your initial cog or doing 98mph in second? Pah, it’d be as entertaining as carrying out a Prince Albert on yourself using a javelin. No, up here, much less is much more. Time to invert your thinking and vote SNP (Small, Nimble and Punchy).

We’ve gathered five of that party’s finest candidates for you to consider. So will it be BMW’s new take on the old Mini Cooper S, the cutesy VW Lupo GTI, Ford’s hot Fiesta ST150, Pug’s stripped-out 106 Rallye or the Suzuki Swift Sport sleeper that takes the miniature hot hatch honours?


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