Currently reading: 208 GTI: ‘The best or we forget it’
Peugeot’s concept will only make production if it's the best hot hatch around, says senior director
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
25 March 2012

Peugeot’s 208 GTI concept will not be made into a production car unless “it is the best car in the category’, a senior company official has told Autocar.

Peugeot director of range Laurent Blanchet, who reports directly to company president Xavier Peugeot, said evaluation work was already under way as to whether the GTI should be built. But he said it would not go beyond the concept stage unless it was better than key rivals such as the Renault Clio 200, VW Polo GTI and Mini JCW.

“We do not want to create a car like the 207 RC or 308 GTI again,” said Blanchet. “We want to launch a car that is modern and genuine, a real GTI. We want the genes of the 205 GTI to run in the car, but to present those things in a modern way.

“This isn’t a revival of the 205 GTI — it cannot be in this world today — but we are genuine in saying that we want this car to sell widely and because of its merits. Our history of the 205 GTI dictates that we only launch the best product in this sector.”

However, Blanchet emphasised that the 208 GTI would not be sold only on its merits as a performance car.“The engine will have 180 to 200bhp, and the ride and handling absolutely must be best in class, but that alone is not enough to sell the car in the numbers that are a benefit to the brand,” he said. “Our research suggests there are two ways to build this car: as a raw performance car with no radio, no air-con and so on, or one that combines driving ability with equipment and style. The former will sell few cars, but the market for the latter looks better. We must find an equilibrium.”

Britain accounted for 61,220 205 GTI sales — more than 20 per cent of the total number sold worldwide. As a result, Blanchet revealed the new car would be developed on British roads if it gets the production go-ahead.

“We have seen the effect a good GTI product can have on our brand, and we know the major markets we want to sell to,” he said.

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Safari 26 March 2012

Re: 208 GTI: ‘The best or we forget it’

Good news - I hope they have success. Peugeot used to make their own dampers some years ago along with Citroen. The 306 GTI 6 was superb as was the 406 along with the Citroen equivalents. Be great to see that again - but they gave it all away to Ford it seems.

Peter Cavellini 26 March 2012

Re: 208 GTI: ‘The best or we forget it’

Autocar wrote:
Peugeot’s 208 GTI concept will not be made into a production car unless “it is the best car in the category’, a senior company official has told Autocar.

Peugeot director of range Laurent Blanchet, who reports directly to company president Xavier Peugeot, said evaluation work was already under way as to whether the GTI should be built. But he said it would not go beyond the concept stage unless it was better than key rivals such as the Renault Clio 200, VW Polo GTI and Mini JCW.

“W... Read the full article

What a load of PR bulldust,with the state of the French car industry at stake,Peugeot cannot afford NOT to make this car, it might not be "THE BEST" of the rest, but i can't see how they'd make it the best.

matsoc 26 March 2012

Re: 208 GTI: ‘The best or we forget it’

Mini1 wrote:
It's so hard to please people. You get individuals on here saying "Don't bother, Peugeot!" and then you get others who say "It needs to be as good as a 205". And now the minute Peugeot say they won't bother unless they can do their very best, everyone's changing their minds. So much negativity towards Peugeot. If this was Volkswagen talking about the next Golf GTI, or Renault talking about the next Clio RS incarnation, there would be a totally different attitude. Give Peugeot a chance - they're admitting that their previous models weren't good enough - so let's see what they can *actually* do?

Well, you may be right but I think facts are better than words and anyway they should just have told that the new 208 was going to return the best in class in small hot hatches, not saying that otherwise they won't make it! It's like saying that they already fear that the car won't be good.

After the iconic 205 spiritual successor they should think at a 306 GTI replacement, it was a really good car.