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by Daniel DeGasperi

Marking a return to the hot-hatch genre for the brand in this country, the Peugeot 208 GTi has arrived priced from $29,990.

Available in 1160kg three-door form only, with a single drivetrain option – a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 147kW and 275Nm, linked to a six-speed manual – the 208 GTi will compete against the forthcoming Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Sport Clio 200, in addition to the current Volkswagen Polo GTI, Skoda Fabia RS, Citroen DS3 and Fiat 500 Abarth.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather/cloth seat trim, satellite navigation with seven-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, heated electrically foldable door mirrors and auto-dipping rear-view mirror.

Peugeot 208 GTi 007

Compared with the $2200-cheaper but auto-only Polo GTI and $4000-cheaper and manual-only Fiesta ST, the 208 GTi gets part leather, an extra zone for the climate control and touchscreen sat-nav over both.

Peugeot cites that fixed-price servicing – at $370 per 15,000km or annual service until 60,000km or three years – and a package where owners cite the number of kilometres the car will travel over a two-, three- or four-year period and agree upon a future trade-in value further enhances the value proposition.

The Peugeot 208 GTi claims a 6.8-second 0-100km/h and 5.9L/100km combined. Compared with the regular 208 it gets wider tracks – up 10mm front/20mm rear – recalibrated dampers, reworked anti-rollbar and front subframe, enhanced rear crossmember rigidity, and unique suspension.

Peugeot 208 GTi 029

With the 208 GTi, Peugeot is targeting 35- to 50-year-old males with no kids who have a high household income of $150K plus and who have a “strong passion for a driver-focused sports car”.

The brand claims the average buyer is a risk taker, prepared to pay more for quality, is adventurous, loves technology, and feels individuality is important.

Peugeot will lead with a brand campaign titled ‘GTi is Back’ with the ‘i’ in red complementing the ‘Back’ also in red. It will be run on television and have a strong digital schedule.