Is 2022 the year the electric hot hatch reigns supreme?

Through every decade since 80s, small, sporty hatchbacks have been widely regarded as the ‘people’s performance car’. 

Cars like the Volkswagen Golf Mk1 GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Abarth 500 have all been built with pure driving enjoyment in mind, allowing owners of all ages and abilities to get behind the wheel of something truly exciting.


A lot of people will put the Mk1 GTI as the first spicy hatch to stun the world, but to find the real originator, you have to go back to 1973, the Simca 1100T. 

It had a 1.3-litre engine, breathing through two Weber carburettors and made 82 horsepower. Not much by modern standards, but when it landed in 1973 its sub 12-second 0-60mph time and 105mph top speed was pretty impressive stuff.



Now we had to talk about the Mk1 Golf. Introduced in 1976, the Mk1 GTI is often considered the spiritual father of hot hatchery. 

And while it wasn’t the first, it was one of the earliest, polished fast hatchbacks. Lightweight construction meant it could outrun Ferrari 308s on country lanes, and a 0-60mph time of 9 seconds meant it wasn’t far behind at the lights.

But let’s bring it back to 2022…


But let’s look at 2022, and the ever-growing push to go fully electric but also maintain that smirk as you tackle a twisty B road. At present, there’s a number of sporty compact EVs heading our way, designed to put the enjoyment back into driving through city centres as well as those open road journeys. 

We started with the Honda E, which was admittedly more style over substance, closely followed by the MINI Cooper S E, which although did retain some of that iconic MINI handling, felt to be lacking in most categories. 

The Fiat 500 E got it right, and there are growing rumours that an Abarth version will be hitting the market in 2023, which we cannot wait to see. 

Elsewhere in Europe, Renault’s designers have been hard at work reimagining the iconic R5 for the 21st century. Don’t forget, Renault’s sister company is Alpine, steeped in a rich history of motorsport and performance cars, so it’s very likely we’ll see an Alpine R5 soon!

Volkswagen will almost certainly bring out a spicy version of their iD.3 too, likely to be called the GTX. This will coincide with the SEAT El Born which is already impressing the world’s motoring press.

All of this sounds a little exciting doesn’t it?!



Elliot NewtonIs 2022 the year the electric hot hatch reigns supreme?