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Official: meet the new Peugeot 208 GTI

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If your childhood involved
styling lusciously coiffed hair while recording The A-Team on a VHS before listening to Wham on a Sony Walkman, chances are you’re familiar with something
called the 205 GTI.

Well, it’s back, sort of. Internet, meet the new Peugeot 208 GTI.

Peugeot is acutely aware that of late, its hot hatch offerings have failed to match the giddy, lift-off oversteery heights of
that 1980s legend. It wants to make up for it.

Gallery: official pics of the production Peugeot 208 GTI

These are the first official pics of the production version, scheduled for a
Spring 2013 release date, and the only recent Pug hot hatch that so
deliberately references its 205 predecessor. That chrome strip running along
the window edge is very 205ish.

It will be powered by a 1.6-litre 200bhp petrol engine - as seen in the mostly
excellent RCZ - mated to a reworked exhaust system, with a close-ratio
six-speed gearbox. There’s 200lb ft of torque, and the acceleration has been
provisionally tagged as thus: 0-62mph is a smidge under seven seconds. It’ll
also go from 50-75mph - in fifth gear - in under seven too.

The lard’s been shredded from the new 208 (the standard car comes in a full
100kg lighter than the outgoing supermini) and this GTI model weighs in at
1160kg. It might be a far cry from the 205’s sub-1000kg body, but then this has
more power.

Peugeot has revised the 208’s steering, along with the front and rear
suspension, and the whole thing rides on 17in 205-section alloys, housing 302mm
discs up front and 249mm discs at the back. Them’s big brakes, if you need

Visually, its 10mm wider at the front and 20mm wider at the back, coupled with
new headlamps, a special 208 grille and that famous ‘GTI’ badge on the mesh.
There’s a gloss black rear skirt, a twin chrome exhaust pipe and some sporting
interior appointments: red GTI ‘overstitching’ throughout, leather, a high
mounted instrument panel, dials with a brushed aluminium background and
aluminium pedals.

Says 208 GTI dynamics manager, Marie Beaumont: “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

Well, that’s certainly a statement of intent. Will you finally bin your 205 GTI
bobble hat, or do you remain unexcited by the prospect of a hot 208?

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