Earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, Peugeot took the wraps off their 208 GTI Concept. From the get go it looked like a fairly well advanced ‘concept,’ which wasn’t far off being production readiness. Now, the cash strapped French manufacturer has intimated that the 208 GTI Concept will be given the green light and will arrive in dealer showrooms in 2013. A production version of the 208 GTI will be shown at the Paris motor show this September.
Powering the 208 GTI will be PSA’s widely available, 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine; of Citroën DS3 and Mini Cooper S fame of course. The 208 GTI is expected to make around 150 kW in its most powerful state of tune, something akin to its DS3 Racing brethren, while another more mild version should make an amiable 118 kW. The former may indeed be called the 208 GTI Racing and is touted to reach 100 km/h from standstill in under seven seconds. The 208 GTI Racing is expected to use a 6-speed manual transmission and sit on lowered, wider suspension, with a larger grille, as well as bolder side skirts, some signature badging and twin exhaust outlets.
We particularly love Peugeot’s detailing on the 208 GTI Concept. The GTI Concept logo (pictured on the rear quarter panels), acts as a salute to its illustrious predecessor – the 205 GTI. The French ‘Le Tricolour’ flag up front will be replaced with the Union Jack on UK cars. (Will we get the rainbow-nation flag down here we wonder?!) The LED daytime running lights have a feline look, perfectly in keeping with Peugeot’s long standing emblem, and the LED backlighting that surrounds the instrumentation is also brilliant.
The sports seats are trimmed with Nappa leather on the outer section and an embossed tartan motif on the inside, lovely. The small steering wheel is also a perfect accentuation of a small, fast super-mini. Lets hope they keep these details for the production version 208 GTI.