The production version of the Peugeot 208 GTI will make its global debut this September at the Paris Motor Show. The 208 GTI will be mostly unchanged from the concept, which was unveiled at the Geneva show in early 2012. It is powered by the same turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that the Citroën DS3 and Mini are equipped with. The GTI is likely to start selling in early 2013 and will be available in either 154bhp or 204bhp, which may be dubbed GTI Racing and could accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 7.0 seconds. But Peugeot chiefs said that the car won’t be as focused as the Renault Clio 200. They think that it doesn’t make sense on the business aspect to produce a hot hatch that is heavily concentrated on hard-edged performance.
Peugeot UK’s managing director, Tim Zimmerman, said that it would have to find its own niche where it can achieve considerable sales. Zimmerman recognized the appeal of the Renaultsport but then, the company would rather focus on “everyday usability” in order to get a bigger audience. The GTI will be lower than the standard 208.
The GTI’s styling would also be bolder, with its bigger front grille, modified front and rear bumpers, sports seats, more chrome interior detailing and twin exhausts. According to reports, the GTI will be offered in the 208 range together with a production version of the XY Concept, which was unveiled last March at Geneva. This 208 would be entering the market, which is dominated by the DS3, Fiat 500 and Mini. It will also be competing with the Vauxhall Adam, which will be launched soon.