2013 Peugeot 208 GTI

Is this the return of the Le Hot Hatch?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Peugeot 208 GTI 2013

If like me you’re thinking that Peugeot never really managed to rediscover the legendary goodness of the classic 205 GTI, the French car market is aiming to prove us wrong. It’s hoping this car is its equivalent of the Mark IV Golf GTI which brought back some of the magic of the first Volkswagen GTI.

The new sporty Pug will only have 197bhp (same engine as the RCZ sports car), but it’s lighter than the 207, 90kg lighter in fact at just 1160kg. It’s also got a better stance with widened tracks sitting on 17-inch alloys with firmer suspension and quicker steering.

The power-to-weight ratio combined with 202lb ft of torque will get it 100kph in less than seven seconds and it’s not exactly stripped-out. Inside there is Nappa leather and cloth upholstery and stitching on the dash for that upmarket feel. Exhaust and brakes have been uprated and it gets a six-speed close-ratio gearbox.

Interested? You’ll have a bit of a wait. Production doesn’t start till Spring next year, and of course there’s no word on whether it would actually be available in our region.

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