Peugeot’s iconic GTI badge is expected to to be revived once the company has established its current reinvention.
The firm killed off the GTI badge last year, instead choosing to focus on building sports coupes.
However, since then Peugeot has committed to completely reinventing its image, spearheading this process with the launch of the Aston Martin-lookalike SR1 concept design study.
Now company insiders have revealed to Autocar that Peugeot’s new focus on cutting-edge design and improved driving dynamics could eventually lead to the resurrection of the GTI badge for a flagship hot hatch, although such a model is not expected to appear for at least another three years.
“The time has got to be right for another GTI model,” a Peugeot source told Autocar. "We’re working on our next generation of small car platforms, so when we see them in three to four years, who knows?
“At the moment we’re focusing on pushing the new 3008 and 5008 models and they’re important in showing what Peugeot is now about. It’s a whole new era for Peugeot and we’re open to trying new things in the future.”
The source said Peugeot needed to first re-establish itself as a brand that made driver’s cars before going back into the hot hatch market. They were also keen to stress the need for market conditions to be right to justify a case for a new hot hatch model.
Since the iconic 205 GTI and 306 GTI models in the 80s and 90s, Peugeot hot hatches have fallen flat and dynamically been a far cry from their original predecessors.
Peugeot’s turbocharged 1.6-litre THP engine, also used in the Mini range, can be cranked up to produce more than 200bhp and is likely to feature in any future Peugeot hot hatch. The firm’s 207 replacement, currently known as 208, is tipped for a 2012 launch and this could be the used as the basis for a new flagship GTI model.
Peugeot will also aim to cash in on its IRC rallying success with the launch of special edition Kris Meeke model. The 207-based car will be limited to just 250 units all painted white, featuring elements of the Peugeot UK’s IRC livery but no power upgrades.