GTI is back, is the very fitting slogan being used by Peugeot to promote the launch of their new Peugeot 208 which is yet another credible addition to a fantastic lineup of hot-hatch’s we’ve seen enter the sector in 2013. The new GTI will certainly attract a lot of interest but doe’s it have what it takes to be amongst the cream of the crop?
Referred to by some as Peugeot’s best hot hatch in twenty years, the new GTI has been introduced following the huge success of the new shape 208 which was launched back in June 2012. The last great produced by the French car manufacturer was the 205 GTI which saw huge popularity in the 80’s and is still favoured as one of the all time greats by dedicated hot hatch enthusiasts so the new GTI has plenty to live up to.
Powering from 0-62mph in a hair-raising 6.8 seconds, the new three door Peugeot 208 boasts a turbocharged 1.6 litre engine with a 6-speed manual gearbox and chucks out 197bhP with a top speed of 143mph. The 208 GTI is fun to drive, nippy around corners and fairly quick on the straight, it outperforms close competition from Ford’s fastest ever Fiesta ST and Renault’s Clio 200, while Peugeot’s claimed fuel economy of 48mpg means it’s fairly efficient too.
Differentiating the Peugeot 208 GTI from the standard 208 is a wider track, an 8mm drop in ride height and retuned steering while the new front grille and chrome capped double exit exhaust pipe, both unique to the GTI, produce a classy, but sporty looking physique. The addition of 17-inch alloy wheels, red brake callipers and bespoke LED headlights are also add to the effect.
Enter the cabin and you’ll find plenty of space for four fully grown adults. Premium leather makes up a large part of the interior styling and is perfectly complimented by the high quality plastics used thorough out the interior. As you’d expect from a car baring the GTI badge, the cabin is also kited out with half leather seats, leather steering wheel and a steel gear knob. Extra detail is added with red highlights on the seats, steering wheel and trim while red stitching traces the curves of the dashboard. The car also has a decent boot capacity of 285-litres.
The impressively equipped Peugeot 208 GTI also comes with a multi function infotainment system, dual zone air con, bluetooth for mobile phone connectivity and a DAB digital radio as well as rear parking sensors to help you take advantage of the tight spaces.
Safety wise the car’s pitted amongst the top of its class thank’s to a full house (5-Stars) from Euro NCAP. Additional safety features include Peugeot’s stability control system and high performance brakes while in the event of an airbag activation the on board SOS system assists the emergency services by automatically alerting them to the cars physical location.
In conclusion the new Peugeot 208 GTI does out perform its closest rivals although some may argue the Fiesta ST offers a better driving experience and at around £2000 less it’s bound to be tough competition for the newbie from Peugeot.