|European econobox and hot hatch|
To start things off may I introduce the Alfa Romeo 145. First introduced in 1994 to replace the aging Alfa Romeo 33, this three door hatch was available with four cylinder eight valve boxer engines from 1.4l - 1.7l and an inline four cylinder 1.9l diesel. In 1997 the boxer engines were replaced with inline fours ranging from 1.4l to 2.0l.
|Alfa Romeo 145. Photo sourced at ewallpapers.eu|
For the '98-'00 model years the hot hatch version of the Alfa 145 was introduced. It was labelled Quadrifoglio in most markets, Cloverleaf in the UK and according to Alex Robbins, writing in an August 2019 Drive Tribe article, it was "the 90's hot hatch everyone forgot".
Its engine bay was home to a 2.0l DOHC 16 valve engine producing 150hp. Its top speed was 210kph (131mph) and it reached 100kph in 8.4 seconds which is almost the slowest of the hot hatches in this series of posts!
|Alfa Romeo 145 Quadrafoglio|
Next on the list is the Ford Fiesta Mk3. This version of the Fiesta was available from 1989 until 1997 replacing the previous generation that had been in production since 1983. The first generation Fiesta was available in North America from 1978 until 1980. The model reappeared on this side of the pond in 2009 when Ford introduced the Mk6 which itself has been superseded by the Mk7. The Festiva is often misidentified as a Fiesta... but that's a topic for a future post!
|Ford Fiesta MK3 from carinfo.com|
|Ford Fiesta MK3. Photo credit in properties.|
Color choices were limited to red,white, black and grey with silver being added to the options for the 1992 model year. In 1997 the MK3 was replaced with the MK4 which had a markedly different body style. In a bit of a twist this model was also marketed as a Mazda 121, which was the Ford Festiva's twin ten years earlier.
Follow these links to some more on the Alfa and Fiesta:
- Alfa article on Auto Revolution
- Drivetribe Alfa Romeo 145 article referenced above
- EVO article on the Fiesta RS Turbo
- HonestJohn article on the Fiesta RS Turbo
What are your favorite econoboxes, or hot hatches, from this era? Leave a comment below and come back in a couple of weeks for part 2 of the Euro hatch series. Next week... it's not a Fiesta!