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Lifestyle: Peugeot’s 208 GTi: The legend returns

by Christopher Davies
5 March, 2013
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About the author

Christopher Davies is a freelance journalist with an online publishing background having been the Editor of Manufacturing Digital magazine. He now contributes automotive articles to Click Tempus but is looking to expand into gadgets, technology and more!

Peugeot 208 GTi

As part of Click Tempus’ Cars section, Lifestyle contributor Christopher Davies  considers Peugeot’s 208 GTi.

French car manufacturer Peugeot recently announced the UK pricing and specification details for its new 208 GTi car. While this may seem like just another beefed-up version of a standard road car, which have come to dominate showrooms in recent years, Peugeot were famed for producing one of the first ever hot-hatches in the mid-eighties with the 205 GTi. Therefore, comparisons between old and new are likely to be drawn by the automotive industry. With the tagline ‘The Legend Returns’, Peugeot is also well aware of what the car has to live up to. However, the 208 GTi is a thoroughly modern incarnation that will once again look to lead the way in pocket-sized performance.

Exterior

Peugeot 208 GTi

The styling is impressive and certainly aesthetically pleasing, with swooping lines from the bonnet seamlessly rushing over the roof to the rear. The front-end has a slightly aggressive look, thankfully however this particular car doesn’t share the open-mouthed fish like expression of previous Peugeots.

Muscular undertones: the perfect rear

Peugeot 208 GTi Rear

The rear also has fairly muscular undertones; but for a car of this kind you want to people to know this isn’t your ordinary hatchback.

Chrome detailing on the front grille, wing mirrors and windowsills add a touch of quality and complement the 17″ alloy wheels perfectly. Other notable exterior features include red brake callipers, rear spoiler, twin chrome tailpipes and LED daytime running lights.

Interior

Peugeot 208 GTi Interior

On the inside, the 208 GTi isn’t short on equipment with a 7″ multi-function colour touchscreen and DAB digital radio taking centre stage in terms of in-car entertainment. Sports seats in full grain black half leather and caro cloth as well as automatic dual-zone air-conditioning makes the interior something of a boy’s toys pleasuredome. With seats positioned 8mm lower than the standard 208 range, the driver will experience a truly sporty and exhilarating ride.

The 208 GTi’s steering wheel and dial display looks like it has been lifted from a purpose built race car, encouraging the driver to fully engage with the car’s performance potential.

Performance and equipment

Peugeot 208 GTi

The Peugeot 208 GTi is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 200bhp. Therefore this sporty little number goes from 0-62mph in an impressive 6.9 seconds.

For those concerned with fuel consumption, the car returns 34.4mpg in urban environments and 60.1 for extra urban driving. Combined figures of 47.9mpg are commendable and CO2 emissions of 139 g/km are also fairly reasonable.

Peugeot says that they have re-tuned the front and rear suspension of the standard 208 to improve responsiveness and handling. Track is now 10mm wider at the front and 20mm wider at the rear. The car also features a reworked exhaust system, bigger disc brakes on all wheels, a close-ratio six-speed gearbox and weighs in at just over a tonne.

 

“We have worked with particular attention on the steering response, chassis dynamics and rigidity of the suspension. The 208 GTi successfully combines performance, safety and driving pleasure.” Marie Beaumont, Peugeot 208 GTi Dynamics Manager

Price

Prices start from £18,895 on the road, however the 208 GTi will go in direct competition with the Renaultsport Clio EDC and the new Ford Fiesta ST, with the latter coming in £1,900 cheaper.

Although Renault and Ford both have an impressive track record producing hot-hatches, Peugeot will remain confident that enough people will want to drive a contemporary version of its iconic 205 GTi.

The 208 GTi certainly ticks all of the right boxes however in a saturated market, its impact won’t be as strong or long lasting as its landmark predecessor.

 

Christopher Davies | Website

Christopher Davies is a freelance journalist with an online publishing background having been the Editor of Manufacturing Digital magazine. He now contributes automotive articles to Click Tempus but is looking to expand into gadgets, technology and more!

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