Good morning fellow opponauts,
I've been dealing with a lot of criticism lately for categorizing a Nissan Sentra SE-R as an hot hatch. I understand the car is a sedan, but it's Nissan's factory-tuned economy car, and that's what we mean by hot hatch. We're not going to call a Ferrari FF a hot hatch, right ?
So I decided that we needed a new term to clearly identify cars that belongs to that class.
An hot hatch is not any performance vehicle with a rear hatch, it's a performance-enhanced version of an economy car. Historically, economy cars were usually hatchbacks, so that's where the term comes from. For example, the civic Si pictured below is definitely a hot hatch.
This Cobalt SS ? definitely an hot hatch.
This Volkswagen Corrado ? No.
But why ? Here's the shocker : The Corrado was never meant to be an economy car, it was a sport car, and an expensive one at it. It wasn't a $30K version of a $15K car, it was a $30K car (in Today's currency) that could be optioned up the mid $40K, and so was the Acura Integra/RSX.
Now let's expand our scope and take this analysis one step further.
Is the Mazda a hot hatch ?
The answer is no. Despite a lot of sporting qualities, there's no factory-tuned version. Unless Mazda step up its game and offer us a Mazdaspeed2, the Mazda2 will not be a hot-hatch.
Is the Jetta GLI an hot-hatch ?
Most definitely. In America, the Jetta is VW's entry level car that starts as low as $14k, so it's normal that the $25K factory enhanced GLI version is considered a hot-hatch.
Now the burning question, is the "hot-hatch" term still relevant in 2015 ? Most automakers are shifting towards sedan body styles for the North American market , so it is likely that we will see more an more of these hot-hatch sedans. Think about it for a minute, if Ford was to bring the much needed sedan version of the Fiesta ST, wouldn't it be a hot-hatch ?
So Oppo, I think we need to find a new name for that class of cars, and I'm going to be the first to submit an idea : Pocket-Rockets
What do you guys think ?