Currently reading: Green light for Peugeot 208 GTI
Peugeot plans to reveal its new hot hatch in September prior to a 2013 launch
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
20 July 2012

The Peugeot 208 GTI has been signed off for production and will make its world premiere at the Paris motor show in September.

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. 

This style-led 208 would enter the increasingly competitive market occupied by the DS3, Fiat 500 and Mini, plus the soon-to-be-launched Vauxhall Adam.

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.

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TheRaceBoy 22 July 2012

They might not make it handle like an RS Clio but...

They might not make it handle like an RS Clio but they might release the GTi 1.6 with non RS Clio handling and then release a GTi-R, ior wjatever they want to call it, with RS handling and more power.

Rob McSorley on CARS 22 July 2012

TheRaceBoy wrote: They might

TheRaceBoy wrote:

They might not make it handle like an RS Clio but they might release the GTi 1.6 with non RS Clio handling and then release a GTi-R, ior wjatever they want to call it, with RS handling and more power.

Doubtful, at the 208 launch the team were telling me that its hard for Peugeot to justify a GTi as usually Peugeot 'hot' hatches make up 3-5%  of sales (which is why in recent years they have been dropped from the range). The cost of manufacturing two very different variants doesnt make any sense, Peugeot have much tighter budgets than say Ford (ST & massively engineered RS). As much as I would love to see a hardcore 208 I don't think we will any time soon.

Randy Cam 21 July 2012

Re. No Accounting for Taste!

I know. I think it looks really good! And hopefully their brand strategy, ie, as hot/potent everyday hatch, as opposed to something more say....rally/racing sport will work. I'm not sure whether the engine needs to deliver more than 200 BHP?, admittedly other vehicles are looking to occupy that territory. However, despite the pictures seemingly detailing quality, it does need to deliver in the quality stakes. Peugeot for me, and i'm not deriding the brand, has always been an enigma. People would clamber over used 206's that we took in, despite trim falling off, squeeks, rattles etc, etc. That aside, as a good allrounder, at a price, i hope it does well.

MrJ 21 July 2012

INSTRUMENT RATING

Maybe Peugeot's interior team will take the opportunity to resite the instrument pod from its currently insane position.

Can't say I enjoyed my recent 208 drive, though it seemed a tad better than the 1500 miles I spent in the lumpen and thirsty Corsa 1.4 SXi from Vauxhall/Opel.

Seems they've spent the last 10 years going backwards - ride, handling, comfort, ergononomics, fuel consumption - all worse than my 2002 Opel Astra 1.6i Estate.