by Jez Spinks

The upcoming Peugeot 208 GTi will have closer parallels to the famous 205 GTi of the 1980s, says the French car manufacturer.

The 205 GTi’s successors to date, the 206 GTi and 207 GTi, weren’t short on engine performance but couldn’t match the pure handling fun of the original.

A new 208 city car that’s lighter than the 207, however, provides the perfect basis for a great GTi variant, says Peugeot.

“The 208 has less weight [than the 207] and it’s really important for this type of car because you have more driving pleasure with lighter car,” says Alexandre Cazeax, product manager for the 208 range.

“The 208 GTi is 70kg lighter than the 207 GTi. And of course we have a more powerful engine so you can imagine the car will have better performance.

“We want to have a 208 GTi that respects the history, the DNA of the GTi brand … and yes the most successful GTi was the 205.”

The new 208 GTi weighs 1160kg and is powered by a 147kW 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder but uses just 6.1 litres of fuel per 100km. It sprints from 0-100km/h in 7.0 seconds.

Peugeot has benchmarked key rivals including the Mini Cooper S, Renaultsport Clio and Volkswagen Polo GTI, but says the 208 GTi needs to be more than just a hot-hatch.

“The original 205 GTi was a nice sporty car,” says Peugeot’s director of product communications, Christophe Chateau. “There was the Renault Turbo that was also sporty, but it was less elegant.

“[The 205] was pleasant to drive but it was also quick. The big change [between 205 and 208 GTi] is modernity.

“The GTi is not just sporty but also chic. Then in terms of fuel consumption to be acceptable, in terms of safety [being better], it’s very important. Thirty years after [the 205] things have changed.

“The 208 GTi is not a radical sporty car like a [Citroen] DS3 Racing. I haven’t tested it but Clio RS is perhaps better on a racetrack. The main objective [of GTi] is to be better on the road for everybody.”

  • dave

    0-100 in 7 secs seems a little slow by today’s hot hatch standards…but still cant wait for this thing to arrive!

    • ABC

      Overseas sites are quoting 6.8. 
      I have owned 2 peugeot gti and can’t wait for this too.

    • $29896495

      Better than a Cruze. with the same size engine.

      • Resident

        Huh? The Cruze doesn’t use the same engine. They do both have 1.6L Turbos though.

        • $29896495

          Huh yourself, back to school for you mate. “SAME SIZE” = 1.6 turbo

  • TomW

    Lots of great choices for us fans of small, sporty hatches.

    • $29896495

      Sure are, though not that small, unlike the original couple this is quite a reasonable size car. Which probably blunts the acceleration a smidge. 
      Hight, = 1460
      Width = 1739
      Length = 3962

  • André

    “Says Maker”… Keen to see what everyone else will say…

  • Ted

    Will be too expensive ..

  • Estiff

    I wonder when the 205gti made its mark it was more a case of great car and great timing, ie. not many other decent competitors at the time? anyone recall. Since then their attempts with the 206 and 207 both missed due to firstly the car being off the mark but the market changing too, i.e many more entrants. Seemingly this segment now is very crowded to make a point of differentiation very difficult. Maybe they should let the 205gti sit in folklore and target a new niche to make a legendary car.??

    • Tom

      I tend to agree, I would also add that what many liked about the 205 – i.e. its chuckability and low weight – would be very hard to replicate due to modern safety standards necessitating a much stronger construction and equipment such as airbags, and hence a couple of hundred kilos of extra weight. 

  • Zaccy16

    Looks great, hopefully finally a good car for peugeot!

  • MightyGrey

    Current 207gti owner – can’t wait. I love my current ride (which I must add is only 0.1s slower 0-100!) but this will be a hoot. 

  • filippo

    I’ll be interested to see how the 208 GTi looks inside. I found the seats in the 207 GTi (whilst comfortable I’m sure) looked ridiculous. 

  • Tone

    In the context of their hot hatches, Peugeot remind me a lot of another French outfit: Air.  The 205GTI was Peugeot’s ‘Moon Safari’.  Every release since then has been quite enjoyable, but still lacks the magic of their very first album … much in the same way that every Peugeot 20x GTI has been enjoyable, but nowhere nearly as special as the 205 was.