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Published on September 3rd, 2012 | by James Allen

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Peugeot 208 GTi: first pics and details ahead of Paris debut

Another day passes, and another new car that’s set to be unveiled at this month’s Paris Motor Show has been announced. This time, it’s the potential to be a real show-stopper, as the car in question is the Peugeot 208 GTi.

And, with these inaugural press photos, it seems the production car’s styling won’t stray far from the bodywork we saw on the 208 GTi Concept at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. It’ll even be revealed in the same shade of red paint, it seems!

That means, under the racy exterior, lies a 208 chassis that’s been thoroughly tweaked and fettled with. For instance, the front and rear tracks have been widened by 10mm and 20mm respectively, along with revised suspension components, improved rigidity and recalibrated steering that, Peugeot claims, increases the ‘firmness’.

There are also noteworthy upgrades to the way it rolls on its sticky rubber. Not only are the four tyres mounted on 17inch ‘Diamond Carbon’ alloys, but hiding behind the spokes are uprated ventilated disc brakes, each featuring ‘dynamic air intakes’ to improve cooling.

What lurks under the contoured bonnet is also of interest: it’s a 1.6 turbocharged four-cylinder (the same that’s used in the Peugeot RCZ, Citroen DS3 Racing and the various Mini models that sport the ‘S’ moniker) with 197bhp and 203lb/ft of torque, which is mated to a close-ratio six speed manual transmission.

Peugeot hasn’t officially announced everything the car is capable of – there aren’t any stats on what it can register on the VMAX (though we assume it’s in the 140mph ballpark) – but the French firm has confirmed it can hit 60mph in “under 7 seconds” and go from 50mph to 75mph in fifth gear in a similar time.

However, such speed doesn’t come at much of a price with regards to running costs, with the claimed emissions figure being 145g/km of CO2.

But it’s the mass of the 208 that Peugeot is most proud of, as the claimed kerb weight of the 208 GTi is a staggeringly light 1,160kg. To put that into perspective, that’s 165kg less than the car’s predecessor, the 207 GTi, 142kg less than the similarly powerful DS3 Racing and, perhaps most crucially, 80kg or so lighter than the current hot hatch classleader, the RenaultSport Clio.

But that’s not to mean the 208 GTi is a stripped-out, pared-to-the-bone potential B-road blaster. After all, the flagship 208 comes with, among other things, racy leather pedals, even racier leather sports seats and the usual technical goodies from the standard car, such as the ever-dominant touchscreen in the centre of the dash.

Peugeot hasn’t announced any official prices for the hot 208, but it’s being suggested that it’ll retail for approx. £21,000, whilst the first batch of cars are expected to arrive in Britain in spring 2013.

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