The 208 GTI will stay very close to the concept of the same name, seen at the Geneva show earlier this year, with power coming from the same turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that powers the Citroën DS3 and Mini.
The GTI, which is expected to go on sale early next year, is tipped to be sold in two states of tune: 154bhp and 204bhp, with the higher-powered version possibly called GTI Racing and delivering a 0-60mph time under 7.0sec. However, Peugeot bosses say the car will not be as focused as the Renault Clio 200, and that there is no business case for building a hot hatch that focuses so heavily on hard-edged performance.
“We have to find our own niche, and one in which we can expect to sell a significant number of cars,” said Peugeot UK’s managing director, Tim Zimmerman. “The Renaultsport route has its own appeal, but it is not the way we want to go. We want more emphasis on everyday usability, where we think we’ll find a larger audience.”
The GTI will, however, sit lower to the road than the standard 208 and feature bolder styling, including a larger front grille, changed front and rear bumpers, sports seats, more chrome interior detailing and twin exhausts.
Reports suggest that it will be joined in the 208 range by a production version of the XY Concept, which was also revealed at Geneva in March.
It would give Peugeot an opportunity to step away from its image as a manufacturer that builds mass-market cars and typically sells at a discount.