PEUGEOT will reset the power bar for pocket-sized hot hatches in Australia with a new version of its tiny GTi that looks set to live up to the impressive heritage of one of the original hot hatches, the French maker's legendary 205 GTi.
Details and photos of the new 208 GTi released recently indicate it will be powered by the same turbocharged 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine as the company's RCZ coupe.
The engine produces 147kW of power and 275Nm of torque, eclipsing the likes of Volkswagen's Polo GTI ((132kW/250Nm), Renault's Clio RS200 (147kW/215Nm), Audi's A1 (136kW/250Nm, Citroen's DS3 (115kW/240Nm) and Alfa Romeo's MiTo QV (125kW/250Nm).
Peugeot claims a 0-100kmh time of less than 7.0 seconds for the hatch, which weighs just 1160kg.
"While the 205 GTi was naturally our inspiration, the 208 GTi is its modern interpretation," Peugeot customer synthesis manager Gaëtan Demoulin said.
"With the 208 GTi, our objective was to produce an engaging sporty performance driving pleasure, an experience that speaks immediately to all enthusiasts: performance, power, reactivity, and an aura of respect and desire."
It will be offered solely with a six-speed manual and send its power through the front wheels.
Peugeot said the 208 GTI will be a "playful sports car, powerful and safe, with an enchanting sound" via a reworked exhaust system "that delights the ears at all engine speeds".
The French car maker said it has paid particular attention to chassis tuning and steering response, with GTi-specific suspension and wheels.
"The 208 is an excellent base for developing a sports hatchback," 208 GTi dynamic synthesis manager Marie Beaumont said.
"We have worked with particular attention on the steering response, the chassis dynamics and the rigidity of the suspension.
"The 208 GTi successfully combines performance, safety and driving pleasure."
The GTi stands apart from other 208 models with a glossy black rear skirt, trapezoidal chromed double tailpipe, red brake callipers and badging, and chrome highlights.
The theme continues inside with red GTi overstitching featured and other highlights including red-rimmed instrument binnacles, while brushed aluminium is featured on the gear knob and elsewhere around the cabin.
Peugeot launches the 208 range in Australia this month, but the GTi version isn't likely to arrive in Australia until the second half of next year.
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