The Peugeot 205 GTi is somewhat of a legend in the hot hatch market and remains to this day the automobile that newer models are compared to (and usually deemed inferior). Despite their success with this impressive model since the 80’s, as well as other GTi models including the 106, 306 and 207, the French manufacturer decided to ditch the GTi brand in 2009 and instead turned their attention to manufacturing sporty coupes in a bid to reinvent the brand.
Just a few years later, adverts started to appear on TV claiming that the “GTi is back”. This came in the form of the 208 GTi, a highly anticipated automobile that would not only be stacking up against dozens of superb cars in the market, such as the Ford Fiesta ST, but it would also have to endure comparisons to the iconic 205 GTi – a vehicle often referred to as the “grandfather of hot hatches”.
Despite these huge shoes to fill, the 208 has blown the industry away and reinvented the famous GTi badge. This has been achieved by building on the winning formula of the 205, ditching unsuccessful elements of the 206 and 207 (which never even earned the GTi badge in the UK), and injecting it with modern features to boost the performance whilst still recapturing the charm of the 80’s.
The 208 features a powerful turbocharged 205bhp 1.6-litre engine, it is terrific fun to drive with crisp handling and it is relatively cheap to run. The 208 looks the part both inside and out, with plenty of nods to its predecessor whilst also giving it a contemporary feel. This is achieved with 17-inch alloys, a 3D chequerboard grille, sporty seats and plenty of entertainment inside, including a decent touchscreen, USB ports, phone and Bluetooth connectivity and plenty more. The best way to pick up the 208 GTi for affordable prices is to visit specialists that offer a range of purchase and finance options, such as RRG Group.
The GTi brand was one that commanded a lot of respect from the 80’s through to the early 2000’s, but a dip in sales when the iconic 205 could not be topped led Peugeot to take a new direction. This did not last long, as they figured out how to reinvent the GTi badge with the superb 208 GTi. Whilst this may not conquer the 205, it is a fantastic return which nods to the previous success with plenty of 80’s charm, whilst also giving it a contemporary boost.