What is it?
The fastest car in Peugeot's newest supermini range, this is the new 207 GTI, which we've come to the twisting bitumen of the Col de Venice to sample. We are not expecting Peugeot to replicate the 205 GTI, for that is a totally unrealistic ask. Rather, we are hoping that the company can make amends for the very disappointing 206 GTI.
The badge on the back of this French registered 207 says RC, but ours won't say that. Also, UK cars will have a slightly different front bumper and sill skirts but, unfortunately, the same rather dull-looking alloys as this one.
The styling on the 207 GTI is a little bit dull overall. You get smoked rear and tailgate glass, a pair of serious-looking bucket seats, an alloy gear knob, alloy pedal covers and naff looking plastichrome rings on the dials. Perhaps I would be less critical if my transport to the airport in the UK hadn’t been the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR. The person who designed that car’s cabin obviously sleeps with a Demon Tweeks catalogue on his or her bedside table.
The 207 GTI's package looks more promising on paper, however. Instead of going for a large swept volume engine, Peugeot has downsized and fitted the 1.6-litre four cylinder that it developed in conjunction with BMW. It’s turbocharged with direct injection – which permits an efficient 10.5:1 compression ratio (the fuel enters the combustion chamber after the point at which pre-ignition would occur).