With an aim to produce its finest hot hatchback in more than 10 years, Peugeot will be building on the RCZ Coupe with a GTI version of the 207 replacement. The hot version of the new car, which is believed to be called 208, will be sold in the UK and in Germany (the two countries where hot hatches are sold in considerable quantities). However, the 208 GTI will also be available in France.
This plan to design a more competitive GTI actually originates from the new emphasis that Peugeot wishes to place on its traditional product strengths Last January, Jean-Marc Gales, director of both the Peugeot and Citroen brands, said that future Peugeots will be known for their "precision, allure, style, driver control and excellence."
Peugeot is eager to revive the reputation it held previously due to its excellent handling and roadholding. It is expected that the 208 GTI will be equipped with the 197bhp 1.6 THP petrol engine that recently debuted in the RCZ, featuring variable valve lift, a twin-scroll turbo and variable cam timing.
According to marketing boss Xavier Peugeot, the 208 will be lighter than the 207. This is related to Peugeot's policy of reducing the weight from each new-generation model.
Peugeot said that while the lesser variants will receive three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and stop-start tech, the GTI will feature several fuel-saving and CO2-reducing technologies.
The 208, which is slated to be launched in 2012, will be the first Peugeot to be designed entirely from the new design language initially seen on the SR1 sports concept. [via autocar]