By Ronan Glon
Friday, Sep 28th, 2012 @ 11:30 am
 

Confirming a long-standing rumor, the 208 GTi that Peugeot displayed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year has been given the green light for production. The hot hatch is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 202 lb-ft. of torque.

The engine was co-developed with BMW and is also found under the hood of the MINI Cooper S, the Peugeot RCZ and the Citroen DS3 hatchback, among others. Linked to a six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the front wheels, the four-banger propels the 208 GTi from zero to 60 mph in less than seven seconds.

On the outside the 208 GTi is instantly recognizable thanks to 17-inch alloy wheels, a discreet trunk-mounted spoiler and a GTi emblem on both c-pillars, an unmistakable homage to the 205 GTi of yore.

The regular 208's small steering wheel is carried over to the hot hatch but it is upholstered in black leather with red stitching. The two-tone motif continues on the seats, the dashboard and the shift boot.

To celebrate the much-awaited return of the GTi nameplate to Peugeot's 200-series, the first 50 GTis will wear a Limited Edition badge and will only be offered in Satin Pearlescent White with the French flag painted on the lower part of the grille. The 208 GTi Limited Edition will come standard with an upgraded stereo system, a navigation system and a dash-mounted plaque engraved with the car's serial number.

Peugeot says that it developed the 208 GTi has a heir to the iconic 205 GTi of the 1980s, not a track monster. "We have to find our own niche, and one in which we can expect to sell a significant number of cars," said Peugeot U.K.'s managing director Tim Zimmerman. "We want more emphasis on everyday usability, where we think we'll find a larger audience."

That means that the French automaker will not invest in developing more extreme versions of the GTi like crosstown rival Renault has done with its RenaultSport lineup. However, customers who want to take the 208 racing can opt for the recently-unveiled 208 R2. Pricing information will be released closer to the hatchback's launch.

Live images by Ronan Glon.