Puegeot is set to launch the new 208 GTI, a hatchback that is set to bring back the glory days of the Puegeot 205 GTI. For 20 years, Puegeot refused to resurrect the memories of the iconic hatchback. Thanks to the success of Citroën’s DS3 range though, the European car maker decided to reverse its line of thinking and made the bold move to fit its most powerful engine on a new GTI model that is slated to be released by summer of next year.
The new 208 GTI will be using the much-praised 1.6 liter twin-cam turbo engine that is built in a joint BMW-PSA (Peugeot-Citroën) factory in France and is currently being used in the Citroën DS3 and Mini Cooper. There will probably be two versions of the engine though. The first is a 154bhp version that is likely to be used in the mainstream GTI and will be priced at around £18,000 and the other is a hotter 204bhp version that will be used in what will be tentatively called GTI Racing, a rarer and more focused model that will go for around £23,000.
The 208 GTI will have a new design that is composed of a grille and front splitter, a rally-derived rear roof spoiler plus unique wheel and tire sizes. To complete the package, it will have sports seats and exclusive interior décor.
With a prettier and more elegant looking shape that puts emphasis on the car’s lightness and compact size, there is obviously a departure from the outmoded and somewhat over-aggressive styling of the 206 and the 207. It lighter and has a slightly smaller exterior than its predecessors but it has a larger interior. The 208 GTI is clearly influenced by 2010′s SR-1 roadster and, of course, by the very successful 205 GTI that saved the company back in the 80s.
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