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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mini JCW GP 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    6 July 2020
    First Drive
    The fastest production Mini yet has 302bhp, a 0-62mph time of just 5.2sec and...
  • Ford Kuga 2020 road test review - hero front
    3 July 2020
    Car review
    SUV practicality, Focus underpinnings, plug-in hybrid tech: is this another...
  • Alpina B3 2020 first drive review - hero front
    3 July 2020
    First Drive
    Bavaria's alternative M3 gets an added injection of performance and...

Join the debate

Comments
21

25 March 2012

[quote Autocar] “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.” [/quote]

Research suggests there are two ways to build this car, well build them both, and like Renault do offer a well specced version and a "Cup/Rallye" stripped out version, but make the "Rallye" chassis revisions available on both, its not rocket science.

25 March 2012

[quote Autocar]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.[/quote]

This better be old news, otherwise by the time they are finished developing it, there will be a whole bunch of new, even better, players on the market...

25 March 2012

Guess this concept is all we'll see of the 208 GTi. Best in class, Peugeot? Keep dreaming.

25 March 2012

[quote Onehp]

[quote Autocar]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.[/quote]

This better be old news, otherwise by the time they are finished developing it, there will be a whole bunch of new, even better, players on the market...

[/quote] Too true - they can't faff around for too long; my advice, forget about the market research, focus groups and research clinics and just do what you know is right and build the damn thing !

25 March 2012

Err what? Is our management already effecting them? What's with the 180 then? Wouldn't be very clever would it? Car exists, drive train already exists, where's the problem? It won't even cost much to do. Glad my local dealer's so crap I already take the 205 elsewhere, this resolves the dilemma of whether or not to buy it from them.

25 March 2012

For the 208 Gti to be the "best" we need to remember that with the 205 it was the best supermini in the period 1984-1990. For the 208 to be a success like the 205 it needs all models across the range to be the best buy from a 1.0 litre petrol through the diesels before the niche model Gti can be considered.

25 March 2012

[quote Maxycat]For the 208 Gti to be the "best" we need to remember that with the 205 it was the best supermini in the period 1984-1990. For the 208 to be a success like the 205 it needs all models across the range to be the best buy from a 1.0 litre petrol through the diesels before the niche model Gti can be considered.[/quote]

I agree. AE's first drive of the 1.6 petrol isn't too encouraging, but, of course, thats just one viewpoint. Normally these first drives are rather gushing.

25 March 2012

[quote catnip]

[quote Maxycat]For the 208 Gti to be the "best" we need to remember that with the 205 it was the best supermini in the period 1984-1990. For the 208 to be a success like the 205 it needs all models across the range to be the best buy from a 1.0 litre petrol through the diesels before the niche model Gti can be considered.[/quote]

I agree. AE's first drive of the 1.6 petrol isn't too encouraging, but, of course, thats just one viewpoint. Normally these first drives are rather gushing.

[/quote]

I disagree, the Renault Clio or Megane are nowhere near best in class, but the RS versions almost certainly are.

25 March 2012

Please make it good Pug. Give me a reason to love your brand again.

25 March 2012

Well, its encouraging that they wont bring out a poor car, but really they cant not bring it out now, because otherwise they are admitting they arent capable of engineering a good car.

So i hope their idea of 'the best' is the same as the rest of the world

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Mini JCW GP 2020 UK first drive review - hero front
    6 July 2020
    First Drive
    The fastest production Mini yet has 302bhp, a 0-62mph time of just 5.2sec and...
  • Ford Kuga 2020 road test review - hero front
    3 July 2020
    Car review
    SUV practicality, Focus underpinnings, plug-in hybrid tech: is this another...
  • Alpina B3 2020 first drive review - hero front
    3 July 2020
    First Drive
    Bavaria's alternative M3 gets an added injection of performance and...