Revealed: the new Peugeot 208 GTi

The new Peugeot GTi Concept has not been confirmed for production but it is expected to be sold in the UK as a sporty, performance version of the new Peugeot 208 hatchback.

The concept is closely linked to the new Peugeot 208 and includes the same three-door layout as the new supermini, which itself makes its debut in UK Peugeot dealerships in June 2012 when it replaces the Peugeot 207.

The popularity of the 205 GTi, widely considered to be one of the best hot hatches of all time, in the 1980s means plenty of people will be excited by the latest concept, which includes a revamped grille, lower spoilers and eye-catching double chromed exhaust pipes.

This creates an overall image of an aggressive, road-hugging hot hatch whose inspiration from the race track is bluntly highlighted with chequered-flag motifs in the grille mesh and red brake callipers.

In terms of size the GTi concept is similar to the 208 hatchback but the wheels are 3.6cm further apart to improve handling and traction.

Inside, Peugeot has designed an interior based around the idea of speed. The seats are decked out in what Peugeot describes as ‘sports leather’ and the interior is awash with LED lighting, aluminium highlights and GTi concept logos.

Under the bonnet, a 1.6-litre 200bhp engine is lifted from the Peugeot RCZ coupe. Combined to a six-speed manual gearbox, the engine is a realistic option for a future production version but performance figures have not been released by Peugeot.

The Peugeot 208 GTi would go up against other French hot hatches such as the Citroen DS3 Racing and the Renaultsport Clio in a competitive market but the popularity of the 205 GTi means it will come with plenty of heritage.

You can see the best hot hatches for 2012 here.