Vintage Hatchback Commercial : 1983 Volkswagen GTI

Even the most jaded of hatchback and automotive aficionado recognizes that the Volkswagen GTI was a game-changer.  The idea of transforming an economy car into something more performance-oriented certainly was not a new one – the Ford Mustang was essentially a swoopy new body on a basic sedan with a few performance goodies thrown in.  And it was a runaway success.

Kinda like the GTI 20 years later.  Prior to its introduction, the public perceived (and for the most part, rightfully so) that small hatchbacks were basic tools to get you from Point A to Point B.

This car changed that.  Following the GTI’s introduction, imitators arrived by the boatload from all corners of the world.  Some focused on tight handling and light weight, like the GTI, others went for brute force with turbocharged engines and little else in the way of improvement.

Let’s go through a brief list of competitors that were introduced in the model years following the GTI:

  • Dodge Charger
  • Chevrolet Citation X-11
  • Ford Escort GT
  • Dodge Omni GLH
  • Toyota Corolla SR-5
  • Honda CRX

Notice a pattern?  Yep, none of those are still around.

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