PEUGEOT is reinterpreting the hot hatch with a more radical version of the 208 GTi, 30 years after the original 205 GTi first thrilled car fans.
The 208 GTi 30th has been designed and engineered by PEUGEOT Sport to deliver a more intense driving sensation. A new Euro6 emissions-compliant 1.6-litre THP petrol engine develops more torque and has had its power output increased to a symbolic 208hp. A Torsen differential helps drivers exploit the extra power in corners. And matt black trim on the exterior, along with the optional ‘Coupe Franche' paint finish - where the red at the rear is cleanly divided from the main black body colour - makes it stand out from the regular 208 GTi.
Although the PEUGEOT 208 GTi 30th will be one of the stars of the Paris Motor Show, ordering for the limited run of 100 cars to be sold in the UK has already opened. It goes on sale in November with prices starting at £21,995.
"As with any project of this type, there was a convergence of ideas and needs. Following on from the RCZ R, PEUGEOT Sport proposed that the Brand make a more radical version of the 208 GTi. At the same time the Brand thought about how best to celebrate 30 years of the PEUGEOT GTi in 2014." Maxime Picat - PEUGEOT Brand CEO
Incisive on the road
With 10,000 sold after just one year, the regular 208 GTi has already been a sales success. The new GTi 30th has been designed to build on that feat by reinforcing the sporting credentials of the regular model. To accomplish this, while also celebrating the 205 GTi that kick-started the Brand's hot hatch revolution three decades ago, PEUGEOT Sport's expertise was invaluable.
With a regular 208 GTi as the starting point, a new 1.6-litre THP engine was installed. This increases torque from 275 to 300Nm and power output rises from 200 to 208hp. That means a 0-62mph of 6.5 seconds and a standing kilometre in 26.5 seconds. Mid-range acceleration is also impressive with 50 to 70mph taking 6.0 seconds in fifth gear. In addition, the new engine meets tough Euro6 emissions standards and reduces CO2 from 139g/km to 125g/km, unprecedented in the hot hatch segment.
To enable drivers to really exploit the extra power and driveability there's a six-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels and the same Torsen differential that has been used to such great effect on the RCZ R. The benefits of this differential are felt in corners by enabling the car to hold a tight line during acceleration.
Compared to the regular 208 GTi, the track has been widened by 22mm at the front and 16mm at the rear. The suspension has been lowered by 10mm, features new damper settings and spring rates, along with different cambers and wheel alignment to the regular 208 GTi. The matt black 18-inch wheels are half an inch wider than the regular car's and shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.
To take advantage of the Torsen differential, the ESP and traction control have been recalibrated to be less intrusive and the anti-roll has been reduced. Similarly PEUGEOT Sport's engineers spent a lot of time on track and road calibrating the steering to make the most of the Torsen differential. The result is optimised grip and remarkable road holding, along with informative steering that gives a feeling of precision and agility.
To ensure it stops as well as it goes, the 208 GTi 30th has an uprated braking system. At the front, meaty 323mm diameter discs that are 28mm thick are gripped with red Brembo fixed four piston callipers featuring PEUGEOT Sport badging. The rear callipers are grey. The spare wheel has been replaced with a tyre inflation kit to save weight.
Reinforcing the extra go with more ‘show'
The regular 208 GTi has a strong visual identity so PEUGEOT's designers wanted to build on that. Gone is the regular car's chic bright chrome finish, replaced by matt black on the 208 GTi 30th. That same matt black treatment is applied to the grille surround, the Cornering Assist fog lamp bezels and door mirror shells. From the side, the lowered stance is accentuated by matt black side skirts and wheel arch extensions. These cover new 18-inch matt black rims. The window trim strip, which finishes with a signature paying homage to the illustrious 205 GTi, is also finished in matt black, while the rear three-quarter panel bears a ‘208 GTi 30th logo'. Round, twin chrome tail pipes give a sporty look and sound.
There is a choice of three colours for the 208 GTi 30th. In the UK, 75 of the 100 cars that have been ordered by Dealers feature the ‘Coupe Franche' finish. Translated literally, this means ‘clean cut' and refers to the sharp, oblique line created where the two colours meet. The front of the car has a textured black finish while the rear features a new high-gloss red. Coupe Franche is an £800 extra. Of the remaining 25 cars, 20 are in Satin White (£150 option) and five are Rioja Red.
The interior has an equally sporty character. Passengers in the front enjoy bucket seats specially developed by PEUGEOT Sport. As with other contemporary models, the steering wheel is small to enhance driver sensation and there's satellite navigation as standard. The front seats are trimmed in Alcantara with contrasting red stitching and PEUGEOT Sport branding. There are special interior mats trimmed in red and black door handles with a red line echo the seat belts. A numbered plate marked ‘208 GTi 30th' above the courtesy lamp finishes off this limited edition anniversary model.
To commemorate 30-years of the PEUGEOT GTi, a new TV commercial has been produced that incorporates some of the footage used in the original 205 GTi advert from 1984. To see the new commercial, click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zTheyLIvRc