Si­b­ling ri­valry

Peu­geot’s 208 might just be up­staged by the sleek GTI

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

black mesh grille with chrome ac­cents.

The ac­cents are echoed at the rear with a black skirt and chrome trape­zoid twin tips from a re­worked ex­haust sys­tem that Peu­geot says will give an ‘‘ ap­peal­ing sound’’. A chrome win­dow sill strip and GTi logo tab on each roof pil­lar salute the 205 GTi that started Peu­geot’s hot-hatch rep­u­ta­tion — and which the maker prom­ises will be re­gen­er­ated with the lat­est it­er­a­tion.

The cabin sports red sad­dlestitch­ing set­ting off the black leather and cloth up­hol­stery, flat-bot­tomed steer­ing wheel, gloss red door grabs and dash ac­cents and red-lit in­stru­ments. Em­pha­sis­ing its per­for­mance in­ten­tions, it fea­tures sports seats, drilled alu­minium ped­als and alu­minium gear knob.

The pro­duc­tion GTi sits on a wider track than the stan­dard 208 with 17-inch al­loys in the flared wheel arches sport­ing 302mm front and 249mm rear discs cooled by dy­namic air in­takes. The MacPherson strut front/tor­sion beam rear sus­pen­sion has also been tuned, the steer­ing tweaked and the sus­pen­sion re­vised with re­cal­i­brated shock ab­sorbers, stiffer springs and up­graded cross mem­bers.

As Cars­guide re­ported in April, the Peu­geot 208 GTi will be pow­ered by the 147kW/ 275Nm 1.6-litre tur­bocharged petrol engine from the RCZ sports coupe (and Citroen DS3) mated to a six-speed close-ra­tio man­ual trans­mis­sion driv­ing the front wheels.

With just 1160kg to flick around, Peu­geot says the 208 GTi will hit 100km/h in less than 7.0 sec­onds but has not yet con­firmed a top speed. Peu­geot hasn’t re­leased a fuel econ­omy fig­ure but the of­fi­cial CO emis­sion of 145g/km sig­nals some­where about 6.0L/100km, and you can guess that’s us­ing pre­mium petrol.

The Volk­swa­gen Polo GTi is the first ob­vi­ous ri­val but the Peu­geot will also face off against the Re­nault Sport Clio RS200 and Ford Fi­esta ST. It trumps that trio on power and torque. As far as han­dling goes we’ll prob­a­bly have to wait about 10 months un­til it gets here to find out.

‘‘ The 208 GTi is still a fair way out for us, we’re say­ing some time around June next year,’’ says Peu­geot Aus­tralia spokes­woman Jae­dene Hudson, adding that it’s too early to es­ti­mate the num­ber of cars to arrive.

‘‘ We’re just about to launch the 208 and we’ll have to gauge the re­sponse to that be­fore we gauge what we’ll need for the 208 GTi.’’

There’s no in­di­ca­tion yet of pric­ing but we can prob­a­bly ex­pect it to be com­pet­i­tive against the $27,790 three-door VWPolo GTi as Peu­geot works hard to gain trac­tion in the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

En­trance: The GTi logo tab is on each roof pil­lar

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.