Peugeot is hoping to reclaim some of its former hot-hatch glory with the new 207 GTi, which goes on sale this summer.
In recent years the French firm has struggled to develop a car that is worthy of the GTi moniker. The rather lukewarm 206 GTi 180, for example, was far removed from the legendary 205 GTi. Peugeot’s reckons the new 207 GTi will silence its critics.
Differentiating the GTi from the standard 207 are larger ventilated front disc brakes, firmer springs and dampers, a stiffer rear torsion beam and a set of nine-spoke 17in alloys wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza rubber. Cosmetic enhancements include a rear spoiler, twin chromed exhausts and chromed door mirrors, as well as tinted rear windows.
Inside there are four Alcantara-covered bucket seats finished, six airbags and a Steering Stability Program or SSP that uses ESP stability control to distribute braking power on surfaces with different levels of grip.
The main attraction will be the GTi’s 1.6-litre Turbo High Pressure (THP) power unit. It’s the same engine that's used in the new Mini Cooper S, but with power pushed to 175bhp and torque to 180lb ft - 195lb ft on overboost - compared to the Cooper S's 173bhp and 177lb ft. The 207 GTi also opts for a five-speed ‘box where the Mini has six cogs, yet the 0-62mph sprint is expected to take an identical 7.1 seconds.
Still, these performance figures aren’t exactly astonishing for a modern hot hatch. We already have the appropriately named 197bhp Renault Clio 197 hits 62mph in 6.9 seconds and Vauxhall’s 189bhp Corsa VXR promises similar performance when it arrives in March.