The little GTIs are back. These vehicles, which for decades have been the object of desire of European youth, will star in a resounding comeback hand in hand with a new generation of hot hatches electric drivers willing to show that sportsmanship and sustainability are not mutually exclusive and can even go hand in hand.
Based on very popular utility and compact cars, these giant killers have always been characterized by offering an aesthetic racing and high doses of fun without the need to go to the prices of a pure sports car, also maintaining the practicality of its three and five-door bodies, which explains its persistent success over time.
Legendary models such as the Opel Corsa GSI or the Volkswagen Golf GTI are some of the most prominent members of this iconic group. One of the most traditional brands in this subcategory is Renaultwhich has had proposals of this type in segments B (R5 Cup and Turbo Cup, Supercinco GT Turbo, Clio 16V, Williams and RS…) and C (R11 Turbo, R19 16V, Megane RS…).
However, the latest generation of the Clio has not had a high-performance version, while the Megane RS has just said goodbye to the market with the final Ultime edition. The diamond firm has not been the only one to discontinue its hot hatchessince other models such as the Peugeot 208 GTI or the SEAT IBIZA CUPRA They have also been disappearing.
Renault, Stellantis and Volkswagen will bet on the electric GTI
Although there are still survivors like the wild Toyota GR Yaris or the fireproof Volkswagen Golf GTI, the category is in clear decline. This will change in the short term thanks to the gradual electrification of the European market, which will allow manufacturers to re-enter this niche without having to worry about your average emissions.
Abarth, FIAT’s sports firm, has been the first to take a step forward with the new 500e, which is a practically unique option in segment A (urban). In 2024 it will be followed by the ambitious Alpine A290the most radical variant of the reborn Renault R5.
Its main rival will be the MINI Cooper SE, whose new generation will see its power increase to 218 hp (160 kW). In 2025 it will be the turn of stellantis (Lancia Ypsilon HF, Opel Corsa GSe, Peugeot 208 PSE) and the Volkswagen Group (CUPRA Raval VZ, Volkswagen ID.2 GTI), who will also try to get a piece of the pie.