3 Sept 2012

Peugeot 208 GTi

Peugeot have announced the 208 GTi will enter production in spring 2013 and they claim it reignites the 'values' of the 205 GTi.

The 208 GTi certainly looks interesting.  It sits lower and wider than the standard 208 and features a special GTi bodykit that works well.  It enhances the shape of the car and makes it appear more poised and muscular.

The front of the car has been tinkered with.  Halogen main beams, LED daytime running lights and a revised gloss black grille with chrome inserts.

At this point we should note the confluence of daytime running lights appears to be spreading - and this is not a good thing.  Motorcycles, often the victims of SMIDSY syndrome (Sorry Mate I Didn't See You), due to the increasing size of A-pillars and wing mirrors, run daytime lights.  With more and more cars doing running daytime lights too then more and more motorcyclists will be knocked off their bikes by drivers who didn't see them.

The interior is sprinkled with GTi fairy dust.  The interior is dark with red highlights throughout.  The dashboard looks lovely with red LED surrounding the deep twin dialled binnacles.

But the most important part of a Peugeot GTi is in the handling and performance.  The base 208 chassis is a good one.  Springs, shocks, anti-roll bars, increased rigidity of the subframe and rear cross members are all unique to the 208 GTi.  The steering is slightly weightier for the GTi to improve handling and feedback.

The engine is a 1.6 litre, 197bhp turbocharged unit with a tweaked exhaust for a sportier tone.  0-60mph takes 7 seconds.

One of the reasons the 205 GTi was such a good car was it's light weight and, happily, the 208 GTi is no porker.  It weighs in at 1160kg.  CO2 emissions are expected to be 145 g/km.

Peugeot have stated the 208 GTi is essentially the successor to the 205 GTi.  On paper they may just be right.  We'll find out next year when it is available to drive to see if that really is the case.