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By 10 July 2013 | Categories: News

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Like VW, French carmaker Peugeot is adding a GTi model to its local stable in the form of the 208 GTi hatchback.

Exterior enhancements that distinguishes the GTi variant from the normal 208 includes extended wheel arches, ‘Carbone’ 17" alloy wheels coupled with low-profile 205/45 R17 performance tyres, and a more prominent hexagonal grille.

Additional styling elements hinting at the sportiness of the hatchback are the bright red brake callipers (front and rear), extended roof spoiler, and rectangular-shaped dual exhaust tailpipes. The GTi is offered in a range of colours ranges including Bianca white, Calado blue, Aluminium silver, Rioja red, Shark grey and Nera black.

Sporty, well featured cockpit

On the inside the GTi styling theme is conveyed via the red and black colour accents incorporated throughout the interior, while the bucket seats are adjustable for height, reach as well as backrest rake. Similarly adjustable (rake and reach) is the leather covered steering wheel that sports controls for the sound system, cruise control and top speed limiter.

The interior further boasts a short gearshift lever that is adorned with an aluminium gear knob, aluminium pedals as well as footrest, and a colour touchscreen that features a brushed-metal surround. This display provides access to key vehicle and system functions and settings the likes of trip computer data, integrated satellite navigation, media and communication system controls (FM tuner, USB, auxiliary jack, Bluetooth audio streaming or hands-free pairing with smartphone).

Other standard specification includes dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, plus a park assistance system. The latter allows for automated parallel parking via ultrasonic sensors. To achieve this, the system first determines a suitable parking space and then performs the parking manoeuvre, with the driver only being responsible for brake and throttle input.

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The sombreness of an all-black interior is intermittedly interrupted by red accents in the dash, seats, gear lever, doors and steering wheel.

Under the French bonnet

Powering the new Peugeot 208 GTi is a 1598 cc turbocharged four cylinder engine that delivers 147 kW at 5800 RPM and 275 Nm of torque at a low 1700 RPM. Thanks to a low kerb mass of just 1 160 kg, the sporty hatchback achieves a power-to-weight ratio of 127 kW per ton, assisting the car in delivering rapid straight-line performance.

The 208 GTi reaches 100 km/h from standstill in under 7 seconds (6.8), while the car is able to reach a terminal velocity of 230 km/h. Despite the performance on offer, more conservative drivers should see an excellent combined-cycle (town and highway driving) fuel usage figure of 5.9 litres per 100 km. A six-speed manual gearbox is the only transmission choice available to buyers.

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A lightweight body coupled with a capable powerplant results in an impressive 127 kW/ton power-to-weight ratio.

Pricing

Peugeot’s 208 GTi goes on sale this month for a recommended retail price of R259 900. The sporty hatchback is supported by the Peugeot Premium Plan, which includes a three year or 100 000 km warranty, and a five year or 60 000 km maintenance plan. In addition, the Premium Plan also includes a three year or 100 000 km roadside assistance package.

“The arrival of the 208 GTi is the next chapter in the unfolding story of the Peugeot 208’s success, both globally and here in South Africa,” said Francis Harnie, MD of Peugeot South Africa. “Not since the legendary 205 GTi has a small performance hatchback created so much interest, and offered such a convincing mix of attributes.”

“It’s our image builder in this segment, but many of the GTi’s stand-out talents, including its low kerb mass, excellent chassis, tactile quality levels and drivetrain efficiency, are shared by the entire model range,” Harnie concluded.

In other motoring related news, Mitsubishi recently announced a feature upgrade for its Lancer 2.0 GLS sedan.

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