Lighter 1.6-litre 208 turbo will recreate classic hot hatch's B-road thrills, says firm
15 April 2010

Peugeot wants to build on the impressive RCZ with a GTI version of the 207 replacement that could become the French company’s finest hot hatchback in more than a decade.

The hot version of the new car (likely to be called 208) is being produced for the British and German markets — the only countries where hot hatches are bought in significant quantities — although it will also be offered in France.

The plan to develop a more competitive GTI stems from the fresh focus Peugeot placed on its traditional product strengths in January. According to Jean-Marc Gales, director of both the Peugeot and Citroën brands, future Peugeots will be known for their “precision, allure, style, driver control and excellence”.

The firm is keen to reinvigorate the reputation it once had for handling and roadholding.

The 208 GTI will almost certainly feature the 197bhp 1.6 THP petrol engine that has just made its debut in the RCZ, featuring variable valve lift, a twin-scroll turbo and variable cam timing. Marketing boss Xavier Peugeot says the 208 will be lighter than the 207, as part of Peugeot’s policy of shedding weight from each new-generation model.

Lesser variants will get three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and stop-start tech. But even the GTI will feature some fuel-saving and CO2-reducing technologies, Peugeot says.

The 208 will be launched in 2012, and will be the first Peugeot to be entirely developed using the new design language first seen on the SR1 sports concept.

Richard Bremner

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15 April 2010

They need to match the new design (good) to better pricing (cheaper). Or their rivals will still overshadow them. Tough when they share the same engine with Mini, and the Mini coupe is coming...

15 April 2010

The 205 in that picture sure looks good, wish cars would still be designed as simple as this one.

15 April 2010

Engine sounds good.

Peugeots are morribund at the moment and have been for some time now.

It would be good to see cars that handle and ride well without shaking your teeth out. I hope they can pull this off. The RCZ is beautiful.

15 April 2010

[quote Autocar]...that could become the French company’s finest hot hatchback in more than a decade.[/quote]

Shouldn't be difficult - they haven't built a good hot hatch in more than a decade.

15 April 2010

Interesting that only the British and Germans buy hot hatches.

15 April 2010

its hardly rocket science, for a manufacturer to drop a 200hp engine in a hatchback, and stick on a gti badge. but many choose not to. in most cases its the unsung advancement in tyre technology that has made such an improvement in handling. there is only so many permutations of suspension design.

15 April 2010

It's hard to keep up with Peugeot's many changes of direction. It seems like only weeks ago that they were abandoning the hot hatch market altogether (although one could be cheeky and suggest that they abandoned it years ago and just started slapping GTI badges on any old rubbish), now they want back in. They were committed to their design language, then they admitted their cars were ugly and announced that they want to build "beautiful cars" again. They build a stunning concept coupe but have no plans of building it or anything like it.

Sounds like a company with no idea.

15 April 2010

How good does the 205 in the photograph look? simple and uncluttered, light weight by comparison with just enough kit to keep punters happy coupled to an engine that just wanted thrashing.

What do we get now? ugly over fussy design with weight penalties and engines shared with so many others it hard to differentiate them form each other. Mazda showed with the 2 that you can build a lighter weight car while still conforming to stringent crash safety regs. The likes of Peugeot and VW are the original purveyors of the GTI class and could take a leaf out of Mazda's approach to weight saving.

15 April 2010

[quote Autocar] The firm is keen to reinvigorate the reputation it once had for handling and roadholding. [/quote]

Can someone truly English-speaking explain the difference between "handling" and "roadholding" to me, please. I'm just curious.


15 April 2010

[quote icsunonove]the difference between "handling" and "roadholding"[/quote]
That's a can of worms. I would say that roadholding is talking about how much grip a car has, and handling is talking how the car responds up to and beyond the point it loses grip - for example which wheels lose grip first and under what conditions. The better a car handles, the more the driver is able to exploit the grip on offer.

The definition of better is somewhat subjective though, and depends what an individual driver expects and enjoys. One man's better is another man's dangerous.


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