Peugeot 208 GTi and GTi by Peugeot Sport review - a return to 205 GTi form? - Peugeot 208 GTi Performance

The Peugeot 208 GTI trying to channel the spirit of its seminal predecessor, the original 205 GTI. Does the latest hot hatch get close?

Evo rating
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  • Best Peugeot hot hatchbacks in years; fast and involving
  • Ford Fiesta ST runs it very close

Naturally, it’s the car wearing official Peugeot Sport badging that’s the fastest of the GTis, but not by the margin you might expect thanks to the modest power difference between the two.

evo has timed the regular 208 GTi to 62mph in 6.8 seconds (it's 6.8sec officially too), while the claimed top speed is 143mph. The 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport snaps to 62mph in 6.5sec, just a few tenths quicker than the standard car (partially determined by the extra 25kg it carries, at 1185kg), and tops out at the same 143mph.

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The manner in which each gets there differs little too, with both feeling very fast for their size (the Peugeot Sport is just a little more rampant as the boost builds) and slicing cleanly, if not with much tactility, through their six ratios.

Unfortunately, both also share the same flaw, albeit to a lesser degree in the Peugeot Sport – the 1.6-litre engine just doesn’t have enough aural appeal. We described the regular GTi as ‘muted and apologetic’ in evo 184 – an 'unenthusiastic drone’ would be another way of putting it – and while the Peugeot Sport has a slightly deeper exhaust note, there’s still little incentive to use that ample performance beyond the rate at which the scenery passes.

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