The new 208 GTi will live up to its promise is something we’ll just have to wait to see, but the initial specifications are promising, starting with the fact that, at 1,160kg (2,538 lbs), Peugeot’s latest pocket rocket is a whopping 165kg (364 pounds) lighter than the 207 RC (called GTi in some markets including the UK).
It’s also more powerful than the 175hp 207 RC / GTi as it is equipped with the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged petrol found in the flagship version of the RCZ Coupe, which generates an output of 197hp (200PS) and peak torque of 275Nm (203 lb-ft).
A six speed manual gearbox drives the front wheels with the French carmaker quoting 0-100 km/h (62mph) acceleration in less than 7 seconds, 0-1,000m (0.62 miles) in 27 seconds and 80-120km/h (50-75mph) in fifth-gear in less than 7 seconds. Peugeot has not yet released the car’s top speed or fuel economy numbers, though it did reveal that it emits 145g/km of C02.
Peugeot says it has uprated and re-tuned the steering system and the suspension that gains sport springs and shock absorbers, new anti-roll bars, plus enhanced front subframe and rear crossmember. The car’s tracks are 10mm wider at the front and 20mm wider at the rear.
The 208 GTi now rides on 17-inch wheels wrapped around in 205/45 rubber, which house larger 302mm ventilated discs at the front and 249mm at the rear.
Exterior upgrades over the regular 208 three-door hatchback include a rather subtle styling package comprising a bespoke finish for the front grille, chromed mirror caps, side sills, a honeycomb mesh lower front grille, a black rear diffuser with trapezoid chromed double tailpipes, LED headlamps and a chromed trim strip with the GTi logo on the C-Pillar.
To celebrate the launch of the car, Peugeot will offer a fully-specified Limited Edition version adorned in an exclusive Satin Pearlescent White paint and 17-inch wheels fitted with red aluminum caps, while the lower bar of the front grille will bear the colors of the French flag. Inside, the special edition will come equipped with Satellite Navigation, a HiFi Pack, and a numbered plaque.
The new 208 GTi will go on sale in Europe in the spring of 2013.