The Peugeot 208 GTi is a lower, leaner, gutsier version of the Peugeot 208 supermini - keen to trade on its legendary badge, made famous by the Peugeot 205 GTi, but not particularly beholden to its spirit.
This is a softer and subtler brand of GTi. Peugeot may roll out the memory of the 205 for these occasions, but away from the advertising campaign it readily admits that this is a much more mature model than its landmark scamp - developed to fit the broader requirements of a likely older audience. Peugeot did try to harness some of the 205's brilliance in a limited run of the 208 to mark its 30th anniversary.
Consequently, unlike some demonically tweaked rivals, the 208 is only gently differentiated from its lesser siblings. Whether you like it or not will therefore depend on how much you appreciated the template. But for our money the GTi would need a deeper, far costlier graft than just a new grille to make its less-than-pretty nose genuinely appealing. Peugeot has attempted to remedy this by offering a 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport, which gets a lower, wider presence than the standard car, plus the benefit of upgraded springs, dampers and wheel alignment, and a Torsten differential as found on the RCZ R.
Nevertheless its tidy profile is picked out well enough by a skinny set of arches, side skirts, and a prominent rear spoiler. Add to that a questionable splatter of chrome-effect body trim and a raft of badges, and the 208 makes it to familiar hot hatch styling territory.