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208 GTI gets more power (and explosions)

Three decades have passed since Peugeot launched the car with a fair claim to the title of Greatest Hot Hatch Of All Time, the 205 GTI. An anniversary worthy of celebration, if ever there was one.

And celebrate Peugeot has, with a beefed-up 208 GTI and a TV ad full of explosions, military aircraft and a gorgeous French woman.

First, the car. The 208 GTI 30th Anniversary is, as you might have guessed, a 208 GTI with a little more of everything, and a bit more besides.

Power’s up to 206bhp (that’s 208 metric horsepowers, coincidence-mongers) from 197, and Peugeot Sport’s engineers have fitted the Torsen diff from the certifiable RCZ R. The track is wider, the ride-height lower, and the ESP ‘less intrusive’. These are many of TG’s favourite things.

Behind the 18in matte-black alloys - which are half an inch wider than those of the regular car, and fitted with sticky, Michelin rubber - you’ll find a set of four-piston Brembo brakes with red calipers. Refreshed spring rates and damper settings round out the mechanical enhancements.

Seventy-five of the 100 cars coming to the UK (only 300 cars will be built) will sport the ‘Coupe Franche’ finish, which sees the front half of the car painted a different colour to the rear. Other cosmetic changes include wheel-arch extensions and new bucket seats. It’ll cost you a precise £21,995.

And the ad? Well, that sees a CGI-slathered 208 evade military aircraft and tackle an Olympic half-pipe, paying homage to one of the very best car ads of all time - 1984’s ‘The Bombardier’, which saw the original 205 GTI engaging in Bond-chase-style japes on a frozen lake.

Both are good, but TG prefers the less cosmetically enhanced original, in which the 205 is literally rammed by a plane, blown up, and chucked off a ski-jump.

So, which do you prefer? The rough-round-the-edges, bare-bones original, or the more sanitized modern version? What do you mean, are we talking about the advert or the car?

Videos below - new 208 GTI advert, followed by old 205 GTI advert

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