Geneva 2012: Peugeot 208 GTI: Geneva 2012: Peugeot 208 GTI
Peugeot's 208 GTI hot hatch concept has been unveiled at the Geneva motor show. The modern day 205 GTI we've all been waiting for?
Peugeot has unveiled its latest concept, the 208 GTI hot hatchback, at the Geneva motor show. We can expect a production version by the end of the year with few changes, as it looks pleasingly showroom-ready. While ‘reborn 205 GTI’ clichés are all too easily rolled out when a performance Peugeot is unveiled, they’re very hard to ignore this time around. Peugeot itself is heavily encouraging such behaviour; its press release happily namechecks the 1980s hot hatch icon, while the ‘GTI’ badge on the 208’s rear quarter panel is an unashamed nod to its ancestor. The 208 is also significantly lighter than its 207 predecessor, helping edge the hatch back to its roots. And after the underwhelming 206 and 207 GTIs, the new 208 could be the return to form we’ve been waiting for. The front wheels are powered by the same 1.6-litre turbo engine as Peugeot’s top-spec RCZ coupe. Maximum outputs of 197bhp and 202lb ft should help hustle the wee 208 to 60mph in under seven seconds, keeping it competitive with its rivals – the Mini Cooper S, Vauxhall Corsa VXR and new Ford Fiesta ST and Renaultsport Clio – which will all boast similar 1.6 turbo fours by the time the GTI’s on sale.