Driven: Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport Review
Following a short test drive, here is my first drive review of the Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport.
What is the Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport all about?
Peugeot have always made exceptionally good hot hatch cars and the Peugeot 208 GTi is no exception to this. However, now we have an even better version of the GTi called the Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport. In short, Peugeot Sport takes a 208 GTi after leaving the factory and rebuilds it.
There is a long list of transformations that are undertaken on the car. Some of the exterior styling changes include 18inch alloy wheels, matt black door mirrors, unique GTi grille, double chrome exhaust, GTi by Peugeot Sport badging, and red front brake calipers. On the inside you will also find sports seats finished in Alcantara with contrasting red stitching that are branded by Peugeot Sport, and specific GTi carpets.
Now to the most important bits; Peugeot Sport have also made performance changes to the car, including lowering the car by 10mm compared to the standard GTi, and probably one of the biggest factors, in my opinion, is the Torsen differential that is featured on the RCZ R. Lastly to mention, changes have been made to the shock absorbers and suspension springs used and a specific wheel alignment configuration has been implemented.
The Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport is powered by an immensely powerful 1.6-litre THP turbocharged petrol engine that creates 208bhp and 300Nm of torque. Using a manual gearbox, the car will go from 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds and will do a top speed of 143 mph. The performance looks to be lightening quick on paper but don’t forget this car will also do a combined economy rating of 52 mpg.
How does it drive?
The 208 GTi certainly stands up to those solid performance figures. This is a properly good small sporty hatchback. There is more than enough power in this new car by Peugeot Sport; you are able to have loads of fun on the roads.
When you first get into the car you notice that the car has an impressive set of sports seats that will hold you dead in the center of the chair. Next, start up the 1.6-litre engine and you will find yourself getting excited. I know it is a small engine, but this thing certainly packs a punch. The first time I got the car to a straight bit of road and put my foot to the floor, the thing launched with a lot more grip and power than I had expected. Even at full throttle the Torsen differential balances the power between the two front wheels better than any other front wheel driven car I have seen. This differential is absolutely key to helping make this car a success. It’s the same differential used in the RCZ R and really starts to change what’s possible from front wheel drive cars.
Once you start to take on a few bends, this is where the car really starts to come alive. The small steering wheel used on the 208 helps give the car a bit of a go-cart feel. The response you get back via the steering wheel gives you a good idea of what is going on underneath the car. I found that I was confidently able to take on corners at fast speed in the GTi and the car travelled through them in a controlled and flat manner. To achieve this great cornering there have been are a lot of improvements in the mix; the new Torsen diff, the reduction in ride height, the fact that it only weighs 1,160kgs and has a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. This setup works impressively well.
What is it like inside?
Inside the 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport is everything you want from a hot hatch, you get a perfect set of bucket seats with leather and Alcantara touches, premium black leather with red stitching on the dash, the gear stick is all nicely chromed, and most importantly the steering wheel is dressed in black perforated leather with red stitching and has a flat bottom showing off that GTi badge.
All of the central dashboard controls have been relocated into a large display, which really helps clean up the central console. The entertainment system is very easy to use and has your typical radio, mp3 and Bluetooth connectivity, and sat nav setup.
The experience that the 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport provides is a car enthusiast’s dream about driving. The car provides all the elements you want from a sports car, but in an affordable hot hatch format. It will leave you feeling thrilled and rewarded as a driver.
The Peugeot 208 GTi just got one heck of a lot better thanks to Peugeot Sport. For those die-hard enthusiasts after the modern GTi experience you won’t be disappointed. You will pay a premium for the additional styling and small performance improvements over the standard GTi and GTi Prestige models, but it is the ultimate Peugeot GTi experience.
Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport
- Price: £21,995
- Engine: 1.6-Litre turbocharged
- Power: 208bhp
- Torque: 300Nm
- Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
- 0-62mph: 6.5 Seconds
- Top speed: 143mph
- Weight: 1,160kg
- Economy combined: 52mpg
- CO2: 125g/km
Author: Paul Hadley