What is it?
This 208, which has just joined the rest of the range on UK sale, is the closest thing yet to a properly sporting 208 pending the arrival of the 208 GTI next March (April in the UK).
The Feline is currently the top trim level, but this version with the 154bhp turbo 1.6 has extra visual up-revving and a three-door-only body style. That engine is familiar from other Peugeots and Citroens and is related to the Mini Cooper S's unit.
With power raised to 197bhp it will also appear in the GTI. In the Feline THP 156 it joins 17in wheels with 205/45 tyres, an extended tailgate spoiler, firmed suspension and glowing blue outlines for the instruments (they'll be red in the GTI) to set it apart from lesser Felines. Seats are part-trimmed in leather and there's a huge glass roof panel with a retractable blind.
What's it like?
This lightest Peugeot-Citroën product yet to use the 154bhp turbo motor promises plenty of pace, judging by the factory's headline figures: 134mph and 8.1sec to 62mph. There's a six-speed gearbox to make the most of the power and the 192lb ft of torque, whose shift is massively more precise and pleasing than the springy five-speeder fitted to the equivalent car, with the same engine, in the old 207 range.
So the Feline feels eager and light on its feet, helped by having shed around 100kg compared with that 207. Its almost lag-free torque delivery extends over a very broad speed range, with useful urge right up to the 6800rpm rev limit, and the whole way the 208 moves is smooth and easy. Quiet, too, although enlivened by a little bass sputter from the exhaust on upshifts.
Unlike that 207, whose ride could be stiff and restless, the 208 Feline soaks up small bumps smoothly and quietly and has calm, authoritative damping over big undulations. There was a danger that the tiny steering wheel's necessarily quick response and hefty power assistance could make this fastest 208 feel artificially darty, but in fact it proves to feel the most natural of the 208s we've sampled to date.
It's surprising that it feels as normal as it does, given that the wheel has to be practically in your lap if you're to see the whole instrument display.