The 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport
I’ll be honest, the 208 is a fine looking car……..but……..it’s all a bit subtle.
I haven’t driven a 208 GTi before, just a diesel, which was great. Perky handling, enough performance and I love the minimalist interior.
The GTi is almost too understated and for that reason I’ve never shown much interest in it.
You see, I grew up in the hot hatch heydays with 205GTi’s, R5 turbos, RS Turbos, Astra GTE’s and all that fun, pre airbag, pre traction control, pre stability control, characterful, easily stolen, often crashed stuff.
Due to the issues of the day, we then had to watch as all of the fun was gradually engineered out of our cars.
Anyway, back to today. I picked up the keys to the 208GTi as a bit of an afterthought whilst waiting for another car to become free.
This black 208GTi by Peugeot Sport looks good. Not outrageous, very subtle, but low, mean and purposeful. It’s like that quiet, unassuming guy stood in the corner, watching everyone, not making a fuss, just standing there quietly drinking his beer. Maybe he’s Special Forces or some kind of martial arts guru? There’s definitely something about him that makes everyone leave him alone.
As I slipped in to the Peugeot Sport bucket seats I was struck by the realisation that I had been missing out by not paying more attention to these Peugeot GTi’s.
Pulling out of the car park on to the road was simplicity itself, no fuss, just a lovely exhaust note.
The road opened up and transformed in to the twisty and testing alpine course at Millbrooks proving ground and the 208GTi came alive. This car was in its natural habitat.
The 208GTi by Peugeot Sport has 208hp. Some of the big boys in the hot hatch paddock have more these days, but it’s a chunk more than the other supermini hot hatches it goes up against ………and man it uses them well.
This thing is awesome. The 208GTi took my breath away it was so good. It’s a perfect balance of a fantastic chassis and great engine. I pushed and pushed as much as I could (with marshals waving flags at me telling me to slow down) and this thing was brilliant. No under steer, no moving about, it didn’t need frantic gear changes to keep it on the boil, it just ate up that alpine course and asked for seconds.
It was over all too soon and left me a little shell shocked. I felt like I had discovered some kind of secret that I need to tell everyone about. So now I’m telling you.