Such is the volatility of this unofficial industry-wide contest, that Honda will be lucky if their hard-won record stands for six months. Renault Sport et al are circling with their new offerings in the sector, so we’ll see what the future holds. How have times changed though, ay? Can you imagine Peugeot throwing a 205 GTi at the Nordschleife with such conviction in 1984? After all, hot hatches are, ostensibly, tarted-up family cars. It all sounds so much crazier when you remember that the Civic Type R is a family car that can go sub-7:45 at the 'Ring – the sort of time that was not so long ago the conserve of the world's greatest supercars.
The hot hatch isn’t the only breed of sporty road car to have caught the bug. Indeed, there are cars that are even more incongruous in their pursuit of glory at the Green Hell than the humble hatchback.