This week the lovely folk at Peugeot delivered a rather interesting car. The 208 Gti Peugeot Sport is not perhaps a car you instantly fall in love with, mainly due to the frankly random two tone paint job it seems to have been given. Half the car is covered in what looks like a wrapped black matte finish and the other half has shiny “normal” red paintwork. Opinions over the last 24 hours have ranged from “bloody horrible” to “I want one”; marmite seems to be a word that springs to mind. However there are other factors at play in my mind as I start to get to know this car and these are listed below:
- French cars have a habit of breaking and having odd electrical systems…well that is what history tells us at least.
- French cars are nothing if not generally quite inventive, Citroen have often been world leaders in new ideas and have never cared what people think.
- Peugeot have some serious hot hatch heritage with the 205 GTi and in terms of French cars lets not forget the might Williams Clio and the various Clio sports we have seen since…oh and the Renualt 5 Turbo!
- Over the past few years I struggle to think of a Peugeot I really wanted, I loved the old 306 but after that the brand seemed to be a bit lost in terms of desirable hatchbacks and performance.
So these things have all been running around my mind along with thoughts about comparing the 208 to the Fiesta ST and the Golf GTi. Yes the Pug looks pretty nuts, but I have to say the seats are amazing and the interior is really well done. It also has a number of little Peugeot Sport styling touches that you just cant hate along with some seriously huge wheels and lovely big red painted brake calipers.
So after just a day what do I think? Well I think the 208 GTi is one hell of a little car. without going into too much detial prior to the review I will say a few major things that spring to mind once again;
- Grip, my word there is a lot of grip!
- Torque, yes torque from a 1.6 turbo, real torque!
- Body roll? you have to be kidding, its got less body roll than Kate Moss after a purge.
- Speed; its quick, not ultra quick but it does really want to go.
- Ride: Ouch.
The rest will have to wait for the video review and more but rest assured Peugeot are back and whatever I think of it in the end this is a hot hatch in the purist sense of the word.