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Peugeot hatch a hot 208 GTi 


PEUGEOT’S iconic 205 GTi was an instant success when launched in 1984 and was a super little hot hatch.

It was so highly rated that the French company has struggled to come up with a replacement to match it – until now.

The 208 GTi was launched in April and it’s a little beauty.

This supermini has sparkling looks from whatever angle you view it and it also has a sporting, quality interior to match.

Since the new car’s launch some reports have said it isn’t as much a fun to drive as the 205 GTi.

It might be much more refined but I thought the fun-drive factor was very much evident in the newcomer.

If you compare the figures for both models you can see how this hot hatch has evolved since the eighties.

The new 200bhp 1.6-litre engine races from zero to 60mph in 6.7 seconds and has a top speed of 143mph against the 205 GTi’s 130bhp 1.9-litre engine’s 7.8 seconds and 123mph figures.

A gallon of petrol cost £1.85 back in 1984 so with prices now around £6.30, fuel economy is just as important as performance for most buyers with the 208 GTi capable of 47.9mpg combined against the older model’s 28.1mpg.

So there’s no lack of power in the latest sports offering from Peugeot with a nice rasp coming from the engine when you accelerate hard.

It was pretty refined sitting at motorway speed and proved to be sharp and agile with responsive steering when tackling bends at speed on some winding, country roads.

The turbo engine responded instantly moving up and down a slick six-speed manual gear-box.

Ride height is lowered on the GTi and with its firm suspension handling was excellent.

The GTi stands out from other 208 models with its unique GTi grille, sports rear spoiler, double chrome exhaust tailpipe, chrome door mirrors, body-coloured wheel arch extensions and GTi badging.

The sporting image continues in an interior which features red highlights, small black leather steering wheel, sports seats finished in full grain black half leather and cloth, embossed with GTi log, red LED instrument dial surround and red Peugeot lettering on aluminium door sills.

The 205 GTi, costing £6,295 at launch, was a special model for Peugeot and this £18,895 208 GTi has stacks of qualities and finesse to make it a present-day hot-hatch star.