Think about all the little c.1,000kg and 120hp crackers you used to be able to buy. Some were superb with even smaller numbers than that. Ford SportKa, Fiat Panda 100HP, VW Lupo GTI, Peugeot 106 GTI, Renaultsport Twingo and cars of that ilk. Where are the replacements for those? Granted, the Suzuki Swift Sport has taken on their mantle but there should be more choice. The MG 3 is better than you would give it credit for but its engine average at very best. I'm not holding out too much hope for the Adam Wham Bam Thank You Mam either (but I stand to be corrected).
The worst thing is that there's no excuse for lack of inspiration. Not only are there are a wealth of very good standard cars currently (the recently replaced C1/108/Aygo trio, the Up/Citigo/Mii and the Hyundai i10/Kia Picanto) but loads of good engines too. The Fiat TwinAir is crying out for a performance installation, and surely the 999cc Ford Ecoboost could be put to great use in a Ka. Volkswagen in fact made an Up GT prototype back in 2012 with 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine and 110hp. What's happened to that?
There's more too. Think of how good the grown-up hatches from these manufacturers are. Nobody makes a duffer anymore. Peugeot was selling the 106 GTI at the same time as the rather average 206 GTI. Today even Kia makes a decent hot hatch in the Pro_cee'd GT and so the chances of them distilling the bigger cars into a few really good pocket rockets must be high.
Perhaps there is a significant financial or political hurdle for not producing cars of this ilk anymore. But they always seemed fairly popular not so long ago and if VW can sanction an e-Up it can give the green light to an Up with 120hp. And a yellow SEAT version. Now feel free to reminisce about the past masters and let's get this thing off the ground!