Vijay Pattni03 September 2012

Official: meet the new Peugeot 208 GTI

The baby GTI returns. First production pics of the upcoming hot Peugeot revealed

Peugeot 208 GTI

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 reassuring.

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 pleasure."

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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