Peugeot boosts 208 GTi performance to mark the classic 205 GTi's 30th anniversary.
Peugeot used the recent Paris motor show to take the wraps of a more hardcore version of the 208 GTi hot hatch, with the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary marking 30 years since the debut of the classic 205 GTi.
The 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine of the standard Peugeot 208 GTi has been beefed up to put out a neat 208 metric horsepower - what else? If you prefer metric numbers the engine produces 156 kilowatts. Perhaps if we ask them nicely the French engineers could screw even more out of the engine and give us 208 kW (that's 279 bhp - delicious!)
If you've got a small hatch with lots of grunt it's nice to be able to stop it very quickly - such as at a track on a race day. So the GTi Anniversary has Brembo 323 mm discs at the front. Interestingly the rear brakes are standard GTi as they are doing considerably less work and are already at the high end of specs.
While you're at the track you can experience the grip offered by Michelin Pilot tyres on 18-inch alloys, lowered suspension, widened tracks front and rear, and firmer shocks and bushes. And also enjoy the way the Torsen differential accurately feeds the torque to the front wheels as you push the baby Pug to its limit.
Inside, there are semi-race seats that support well, though that was during a static test as we weren't able to drive a car. That won't happen till about February 2015 when the first 208 GTi Anniversary models reach downunder. The most interesting part of the car is the black and red paint treatment. Designed to provide cues to the stubby little 1984 Peugeot 205 GTi, the colours are separated vertically, rather than getting the usual horizontal split.
Something like 17 hours of additional labour is required to do this paint job as it needs critical masking and carries several coats of varnish. If you don't want to leap out from the crowd, you can get a GTi without this fancy paint treatment – we certainly wouldn't!
a car that may well become a collectors' item one day
How many will be built? There's no limit globally, or for Australian exports. However, Peugeot Sport may struggle to keep up with demand so if you're halfway interested it might be an idea to head for your local dealer and talk deposits on a car that may well become a collectors' item one day.
Every Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary will be individually numbered on a plate above the centre of the windscreen inside the car.