22. Renault 5 Turbo
The ’80s started with a bang in the hot hatch world when Renault introduced the crazy R5 Turbo. It looked like a regular Renault 5 compact city car, yet it was a serious performance machine. This was the first time a car company presented an outrageous hot hatch. It not only had the performance of a supercar, but also the technology of one.
The essence of the R5 Turbo was a mid-mounted 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivered 160 HP. They redesigned and re-engineered the entire car to move the engine from the front hood to space behind the driver. The rear track was much wider and they added side scoops for better engine cooling. Of course, such an extreme car lost one of the main hot hatch characteristics, which is practicality. Basically, it was a pure racing car Renault built for homologation purposes. Even so, it deserves an important place in hot hatch history as one of the coolest, craziest hot hatches as well as one of deadliest compacts of the ’80s.