Peugeot will reveal its concept for the new 208 GTI at Geneva, as it attempts to regenerate the memory of an iconic legend.
The first thing that attracts you with the 208 is the detailing of the signature LED headlamp design, which is prominently visible both day and night. Using Full-LED technology, the front directional indicators surround the main beam headlamps giving these concept cars the impression of having an iris. The rectangular headlamp units, when used on main beam, appear to have a ‘feline pupil’ … a technological and precise expression that is fully identifiable with the lion Marque.
This precision continues with the integrated style components adorning the bodywork. Wheel arches have wing extensions, and bodywork with sills enhance the stance.
The first sensations are completely visual and evident as soon as the GTi Concept is revealed. Instantly characterised by being the performance icon of the 208, it features chequered-flag motifs that embellish the metal mesh of the grille, and the lower bar proudly affirms its origin by displaying the French ‘Le Tricolour’ flag or the Union Jack when in the UK.
Other distinctive exterior features include: double chromed exhaust tailpipes, aero lower bodywork spoilers and lower sill skirt extensions that all capture the signature badging. Placed within the grille is the brushed aluminium GTi Concept logo that can also be found on the rear quarter panels, as a salute to its illustrious predecessor – the legendary 205 GTi.
On the inside, the passenger compartment is a true GTi environment, with a characteristic sports leather stitched steering wheel, the treatment of which is replicated on the sides of the gear lever, double stitching in the seats and enhanced with LED backlighting to the surrounds of the high-tech instruments. The sports seats are trimmed with Nappa leather on the outer section, and cloth in the centre with an embossed tartan motif, and a leather head restraint.
The red perforated leather steering wheel continues the check motif, and has a pronounced lower flat section, which carries the GTi Concept logo set in an aluminium ring. To complete the sports interior, the fascia capping is dressed in Alcantara with grey stitching, the roof lining is entirely black and the pedals are aluminium. The centre console architecture and ventilation vents all feature a graduated red to black effect, and the chequered-flag theme is also present on the aluminium door crossbars.
The GTi Concept takes its propulsion from the powerfully-compact RCZ THP 200 engine. Combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the 1.6-litre THP engine puts its driver at the controls of a machine that captivates the potential for a great driving experience. Like all 208s, a small steering wheel greets the driver and with the GTi Concept, this accentuates the dynamic capability of this car with the enhanced power available. With the raised instrument panel in line of sight, the information is clearly visible from the dials that have a brushed aluminium background and very precise graduations.
The GTi Concept also benefits from the improvements that characterise the 208, taking full advantage of its compactness and lightness, delivering road-holding that is both excellent and precise. To enhance the dynamic experience, it has a 36mm wider track, at the front and at the rear, and a rear roof spoiler to generate down force at speed. For optimum braking performance, the GTi Concept is equipped with four discs; 302mm diameter at the front and 249mm at the rear, set off by red-painted brake callipers.