back to article Peugeot 208 GTi: The original hot hatch makes a comeback

Back in the day, Peugeot made a truly great little motor car called the 205 GTi. I owned one, the 1.9-litre version, and absolutely loved it. For charging down narrow B-roads few things on four wheels were faster or more enjoyable. Along with the Volkswagen Golf GTi the 205 GTi pretty much created a whole new breed of car in …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm... I'm red/green colour blind (we, deficient, actually) the upshot is that I see red as a much more dull colour than other people and all I could think was "ARGHH! MY EYES!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I'm not colour blind at all and I had the same reaction. The interior just screams cheap plastic and that gear knob, well the caption to the picture should be "Now THAT’s a FUGLY gear knob"

      Still, some things never change, and as with the original GTis this is proof that if you put a big enough engine on a rollerskate people with no taste will buy it and no doubt add their own fluffy dice.

      1. Ross K

        Re: @OP

        Still, some things never change, and as with the original GTis this is proof that if you put a big enough engine on a rollerskate people with no taste will buy it and no doubt add their own fluffy dice.


        That was the sound of a point going right over your head.

        I suppose we could all drive a base-model silver VW Golf with the alloy wheel upgrade package. Oh wait...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @OP

          >That was the sound of a point going right over your head

          I always thought the point of these hot hatches was to make them cheap enough so that people of dubious social class and limited mental capacity could afford them and take on their peers in duels to the death thereby improving the gene pool. In this respect I'm all for them, hell they should make it a spectator sport, I can imagine the audience full of dribbling chavs called Wayne. I can't help but feel this would make the streets safer for both other road users and particularly pedestrians when such events took place.

        2. Andy Enderby 1

          Re: @OP

          I drive a Mazda MX..... and I agree with ChrisW. It could be done better.

        3. Great Bu

          The adverts proclaim, “the GTi is back”. Of course, VW would argue it never went away,

          Until you showed them a picture of a Mark IV Golf "GTi" and then they would go and cry into their bratwurst.....

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Re: @OP

        "if you put a big enough engine on a rollerskate people with no taste will buy it and no doubt add their own fluffy dice"

        Tastes in colour notwithstanding, it sounds like you're dead inside. I bet you hate unicorns, dolphins and Santa, too ;-)

        Although there's pretty much nothing uglier than a pair of FF0000 fluffy dice...

  2. 20legend

    'lack of postcode search in the satnav' is a pretty fucking fundamental failure of any satnav software ....

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Might be for the Brits but on the continent PostCodes are far less precise. For example my postcode covers 7 different little villages..... So here it not even something that we ever be missed.

      So it's only a fail for a small minority ie The Brits that drive the new 208 Gti.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually it's lack of full postcode search, you can use the first 4 characters at least. People who have complained to Peugeot have been told an update is coming to enable full postcodes, although it seems to have been delayed a few times already.

      1. Thomas Whipp

        postcode search

        My inbuilt satnav also doesnt have full postcode search, it really bugged me for about the first month. Now I'm used to it I actually prefer it, I've had mixed results with postcode searchs in the past (e.g. being dropped within a couple of meters of where I wanted to be, but the wrong side of a 15 foot wall that didnt have a door and in a one way system)

        The system in my car lets me use the first part of the postcode (e.g. AB12 1) and then street and number, so far its put me outside the door I wanted every single time. The only time its annoying is when I'm driving somewhere and need to make a course adjustment mid-way as people are a bit suprised when they cant just give you a postcode.

        Still overall I dont think its too much of a deal having lived with it for 6 months.

        1. auburnman

          Re: postcode search

          One the subject of postcodes, does anyone know roughly the area covered by the first part of a postcode in the UK? was trying to find this out the other day but my Google-fu failed me.

          1. Robin

            Re: postcode search

            Try asking ShittyLink when they somehow ended up with just the first part of my postcode as the entire delivery address, and never thought to call/email to question it.

            "We couldn't find your address."

            You don't say?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > 'lack of postcode search in the satnav' is a pretty fucking fundamental failure

      As someone else has pointed out, this seems to be a demand limited to the UK market only. Whether it's available or not depends on how focused the satnav maker is on this particular market.

  3. Jemma

    Its natural element, t'moors...

    So basically its the automotive equivalent of Myra Hindley - to whom it shares a certain resemblance. The less said about the halfords-chic interior the better. As my grandfather would say "count me 'ahht".

    That said its not the ugliest thing they make at the moment.

  4. frank ly

    Full marks for the speedometer arrangement.

    For as long as I can remember, I've had cars where the steering wheel blocks my view of the speedo between about 65mph and 90mph; a critical range. I wish more car makers would take this into account.

    Apart from that, I don't like badgery and I'd prefer black flashing instead of red.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Full marks for the speedometer arrangement.

      Intriguing... I've driven cars from pretty much every manufacturer and never had this problem. (We use rentals for work).

      Could be because I'm a short arse though :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Full marks for the speedometer arrangement.

      > I've had cars where the steering wheel blocks my view of the speedo between about 65mph and 90mph;

      Was that the case after adjusting the steering wheel tilt across its full range?

  5. Joey


    ...The Register gets more like Top Gear every day!

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Huh...

      Erm fifth gear more like

      No wheel smoking

      No Stig

      No baffon shouting "POWER!!!!"

      No explosion or crash at the end of the article

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Huh...

        Is baffon French for buffoon?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh...

      I think the problem here is that The Register has had the nerve to put in some good words for a French car.

      1. Matt 21

        Re: Huh...

        I don't know why the Reg does these articles. The Reg isn't a car magazine and they don't seem to know how to do car reviews.

        I know some car magazines try and review IT kit from time to time and they don't do well at that either.

        1. Monkeyman

          Re: Huh...

          They get to play about in a free car for a week in return for a thousand words.... that's why!

          Not a bad deal, shame about the car...

  6. P. Lee

    It still looks

    fat & flabby.

    Sorry, I always wanted a 205.

    Calling it the automotive W8 might be too harsh, but "competent wrapped up in horrid" springs to mind.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: It still looks

      Agreed, havent they seen what they have done with the smart or even the Suzuiki Swift?

  7. fishman

    The engine

    That engine has been a nightmare in the MINIs. The turboed MINIs are far less reliable that the non turbo versions.

    1. GettinSadda

      Re: The engine

      That engine has been a nightmare in the MINIs. The turboed MINIs are far less reliable that the non turbo versions.

      So it will probably be very like the original 205GTi then - they seemed to spend more time in the garage than on the road!

      1. Andy Enderby 1

        Re: The engine

        A buddy had a (about 3 or 4 years old when he had it) 205 GTI for 4 years in the nineties and apart from 2 injectors over that period it never gave him any grief.

    2. Ross K
      Paris Hilton

      Re: The engine

      You'd have to ask yourself how many of the turbo problems are down to the owners not allowing the turbo to cool down before switching off the ignition.

      No offense to BMW Mini drivers but most of them work in the hairdressing industry, and wouldn't have a clue what mechanical sympathy is...

      Paris icon because she's the archetypal BMW Mini owner.

      1. N2

        Re: The engine

        Agreed, along with revving the bollox off it before every thing's warmed up to normal operating temperatures.

        Cars may have changed a great deal but the laws of physics governing expansion / contraction haven't.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The engine

        If you have to let a turbocharger cool down before switching the car off not doing so is hardly the fault of the owner, who is never told this, rather than the fault of the designers who didn't make sure that the car continues to cool itself after the ignition is switched off.

        I've owned three cars, all non-turbocharged all at least 20 years old and all of them have managed to cool the engine after it's been switched off, should that be needed.

        1. Ross K

          Re: The engine

          If you have to let a turbocharger cool down before switching the car off not doing so is hardly the fault of the owner, who is never told this, rather than the fault of the designers who didn't make sure that the car continues to cool itself after the ignition is switched off.

          If you RTFM of any turbo'd car, it tells you to allow the turbo to idle for 20-30 seconds before switching off.

          It's hardly the manufacturer's fault that shit-for-brains owners can't read a manual, is it?

          I've owned three cars, all non-turbocharged all at least 20 years old

          You've owned three non-turbocharged cars, so you're an expert on the way turbos should work? You should send your CV to Peugeot...

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: The engine

          hardly the fault of the owner, who is never told this

          It is entirely the fault of the owner who is told it clearly in the user manual, which is probably still unread and shrink-wrapped in the glovebox from they day they bought the car. Drive the car in such a way that the turbo is red hot and still spinning at 20K RPM, then switch off the engine thus cutting off it's oil supply, and you get what you deserve. It's no different to starting in 3rd gear and slipping the clutch to make it work. You just don't do that if you want the device to have a trouble-free life

          Would you be so forgiving of someone who thought that the right way to shut down their PC was to yank the power plug out of the wall by the cable?

        3. Jules8791

          Re: The engine

          Some cars its good to install a turbo timer solves the problem, leaves the engine running for a bit after you turn the igniton off although I think its illegal to leave your car running if your not in it.

      3. Jemma

        Re: The engine

        ...or Renault 5 GT Turbo I syndrome. You know, the water cooled Turbo that was on the same circuit as the engine? Switch engine off, Turbo cooks.

        They changed it for oil cooling later on...

        Turbo cars are inherantly less reliable. I'm giving it 3 years before they start calling the Ford one the EcoBoom. The first time one of the factory chav team get a hold of one it'll detonate before the 3rd set of lights.

        Whatever happened to the right tool for the right job. Its a 2 litre class car, put a 2 litre in it. Good economy, longevity and reliability. 1600 engine will be stressed and overworked and a 1 litre Turbo is an engine rebuild waiting to happen.

        Notwithstanding the evidence of William Hague's skull you cannot and will never be able to put a quart in a pint pot. similarly you can't get the same power reliably & economically out of half the displacement by ordering turbos and praying to God. *

        * Your friend here is the forced aspiration 2-stroke. Twice the power, none of the pre mix. Slap on a tuned pipe for even more va va thud...

        1. TheWeenie

          Re: The engine

          Not sure I agree with that. I've owned Saabs - all of which are turbocharged - and they've always been reliable. A lot of the larger Volvos were turbocharged too and you don't tend to see many of those littering the motorways.

          I do take the point about higher boost pressures and tighter tolerances being a recipe for problems though. All depends how the owners look after the cars. Presumably the service interval on the 1.0T Ford unit has been reduced? Wasn't it one of the Mitsubishi Evo models that needed a service every 6500 miles or something?

          Also, Wayne is going to have to sell a lot of meth / carry out a lot of muggings (insert your chosen antisocial behaviour here) to be able to spank just shy of nineteen grand on a car.

          1. John 62

            Re: The engine

            Honest John's advice for all cars, turbo-charged or not, is to let them idle a bit after long journeys. The problem is not the cooling, since thermodynamics guarantees the engine will reach equilibrium with its surroundings at some point, the problem is the rate of cooling is too quick if the engine is turned off when it's very hot.

            1. jason 7

              Re: The engine

              I suppose also the old adage , 'not all turbos are created equal' applies to reliability too.

        2. nsld

          Re: The engine

          It really comes down to the weight of the car.

          The original 205 gti was a flimsy tin can, the modern variants are a lot more robust and typically a lot heavier, consequently a smaller, turbo engine is going to have to be seriously thrashed to get the performance returns.

          My Lotus Elan is a 1.6 Turbo but probably weighs half what the 208 weighs, consequently its quicker but I don't have to hammer it to get the performance from it in the same way you do with a modern hot hatch.

          On the subject of what happens when you turn the engine off, with every car I have owned I have always let them run for a period when I finish a journey before switching off, turbo or not, especially with the older cars as the temperature of the engine moved around all over the place.

        3. P Taylor

          Re: The engine

          I think the original 205 1.6 GTi was 110bhp, and the 1.9 was 120bhp.

          Now this new 1.6 knocks out 200bhp, that's crazy. It must be a very highly stressed engine, which means it will last 5 mins.

          Modern / young drivers also do not understand how to drive turbo charged cars. Hence all the blown turbos, and blue smoking cars.

          Never use boost until the engine warms up. and let it idle for 1min before switching off. 2 Critical things to remember.

        4. Basil Fernie

          Re: The engine

          Ha! One of my automotive quadricycles has a 3-litre turbo engine and is routinely flogged. However due to proper warmup/cooldown discipline, also routine changing of oil and filters, it now has 460 000 km on clock without any tumultuous episodes in its history (I have to replace the clutch master cylinder every 100 000 or so). I will be happy to carry on to 1 million km with same, and expect the engine to last that long at least.

          I like forced-aspiration two-strokes, but don't see much chance of them escaping en masse from ships' engine rooms onto the roads.

          Mine's the one with the screwdriver and the universal metric in the pockets.

          1. Matt 21

            Re: The engine

            Getting 200bhp out of a 1.6 does put more strain on the engine but this is only a problem if the engine isn't designed to take that strain. In the case of this engine it seems to be OK. We've got two high mileage ones in the family and the only problems we've had are a slight tendency in one of them to use a bit of oil. It's been like that since day one.

            As for cooling down, that no longer seems to be necessary on the modern turbo, otherwise stop/start would kill the engine. I drive my car onto my drive and the engine cuts as soon as the car stops, unless I disable stop/start. I checked this with a couple of mates in the industry and I'm told the turbo is now designed to cope with just being turned off.

            1. Endymion

              Re: The engine

              The bugbear of older turbo installations was oil being carbonised by the heat after shut-off, and coking up the bearing housings, depriving them of an oil feed. This has largely been dealt with by water cooling the bearing housings and sometimes fitting an electrical circulation pump to keep the engine coolant circulating and avoiding heat-soak.

              Lots of modern diesels have problems with variable nozzle turbos and a build-up of soot causing the vanes to seize up, causing an actuator fault. The rotating parts of the turbo have been absolutely fine in both cases. My Mercedes has needed two replacement turbos is 50,000 miles, and this is a very common type of failure for diesels that are driven around town a lot.

              Petrol turbos don't suffer from this isssue, and are pretty reliable nowadays for the most part. There isn't a specific reliability issue caused by boosting small engines (provided the internals are strong enough and thermal limits aren't exceeded), although oil quality becomes more critical. The fuel efficiency gains make it inevitable that manufacturers will continue downsizing engines.

      4. Jemma

        Re: The engine

        Sigh. You mean the ones that think short shifting is something to do with their underwear.. and bump starting is a kinky term for getting pregnant?

        Incidentally is anyone else concerned about the habit these days of manufacturers not including any form of spare wheel whatever? How long will it be before a blowout leads to some poor girl taking the wrong lift and being introduced to her internal organs one by one by the friendly local sociopath? Cars should be sold with a full size spare as a point of law after all its on the MOT..

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: The engine @jemma

          Actually, you can get sensible power out of small engines with turbos and make them reliable. Maybe not the same power on half the capacity as a normally aspirated engine, but turbo's I think are the way forward for small engines. Of course, you can over tune anything and make it unreliable - it's going too far that is the problem, not the concept.

          After all, they will be doing this exact thing in F1 next year, where they will have to be reliable and economical and much smaller.

        2. Ross K

          Re: The engine

          Cars should be sold with a full size spare as a point of law after all its on the MOT..

          A spare wheel isn't a requirement for an MOT.

          If one is present though, it must be roadworthy.

          You can't use a space-saver as a road wheel for the test either.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Ah Memories

    Used to have a 1.9 205 Gti and it was damn fast car on a country road and could still hold it's own now. Best fun car I ever owned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah Memories

      >damn fast car on a country road

      Does that mean it was slow on motorways?

      Oh, and driving fast on country roads is the pasttime of idiots. You sound like a candidate for my proposed sport, see earlier comment.

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

        Second stupid post in this thread.

        Driving fast on country roads is a perfectly OK thing to do. I've been doing it for 30 years. Only accidents I've had, have been where I was in a in 30mph limit doing less than that, and the rest on circuits.

        Driving fast on road where's it dangerous to drive fast is not an OK thing to do.

        Driving fast on motorways is a fairly pointless thing to do anyway - anyone can drive fast in a straight line - and apparently, in fog, as shown by the recent bridge accident.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

          James, you contradict yourself.

          >Driving fast on motorways is a fairly pointless thing to do anyway...

          From this we can conclude that driving fast on a straight country road is also pointless from which we can further conclude that the country roads on which you feel it isn't pointless to drive fast are the curvy twisty ones.

          Rather you than me. As you say

          >Driving fast on road where's it dangerous to drive fast is not an OK thing to do.

          So make up your mind.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

            I think you're missing the fact that 'fast' is relative. On a country B road in the twisties 30 can be quick, on the straights you could be doing 60 fine. The enjoyment from driving comes from the transitions between the two, when you have to work to make progress and are rewarded with the feeling of driver and machine in harmony, maintaining the maximum safe speed as smoothly as possible.

            As long as the driver remains in full control of the car, is under the limit, and can stop in the distance they can see to be clear then what's the problem? In fact, if you're not getting as close to the limit as it is safe to do so, then you'd fail your test.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

              The only fixed rule to be obeyed is "can stop in the distance they can see". I'm not against fast driving so long as that rule is obeyed at all times but both you and I know that the majority of hot hatch drivers don't stick to that rule especially so when you get two of them together and even more so when they are young and with their peers. And if you want a satisfying driving experience get a real car not a hatchback.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

                Chris which of these do you suggest for a satisfying driving experience as I am in the market to buy :

                1) Nissan Almera

                2) Daihatsu Charade

                3) Toyota Prius

                4) Fiat Panda

                5) Ford focus 1.6 saloon

                Please could you also recommend a good place to buy some flannel trousers, cardigan, driving gloves and a nice flat cap ?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

                  Dear fellow AC

                  > Chris which of these do you suggest for a satisfying driving experience

                  I am not Chris W, but I do not disagree with his observations. At the same time, in terms of a satisfying driving experience, I am quite happy with my sober, 300-something BHP private car, which makes for very smooth rides at speeds which take full account of the fact that I am sharing the road with other users (including cyclists, joggers, agricultural machinery, etc.) It is also very handy on the Autobahn, whenever it is safe and convenient to accelerate to full speed, but I haven't felt the need to remove the 250 km/h electronic limit (250 is scary enough).

                  But alas, it is not on your list.

                  If I wanted to have fun, I would just hire the nearby F1 track for half an hour (it is very affordable), probably along with some professional instruction, rather than trash about on country roads inconveniencing other people for my own sense of "satisfaction".

                  Nothing against the 208 btw, which (apart from being French) I am sure is a fine car, but not for the purposes some people here seem to be hinting at.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ah Memories @Chris W @AC16:13

                  I don't have any experience of the cars you mention so I can't help there but good luck with whichever one of those you choose.

                  Flat cap : You could do worse than Lawrence and Foster

                  Driving gloves : I only own two types of glove, oil resistant ones I use for when I'm tinkering about on engines which I get from my brother in law who is a mechanic for one of the major car manufacturers so they're probably off-limits to you. The second are a pair of leather welding gloves, you can get them on ebay.

                  I can't help you with your other articles of clothing.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: "Get a real car"

                    i.e. not one that is French.

              2. jeffdyer

                Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

                "get a real car not a hatchback" What a pretentious and ill informed comment.

                Let's face it Chris W, when you look back on this thread in years to come, you'll probably be a bit embarrassed.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

                  On the contrary, Jeff. I think with some maturity those voting me down will see sense in what I have written.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

            Hehe... judging by the voting on Chris W's posts I think I can get a better impression of the socio-economic and educational status of the Reg readership than any polls can give you. An observational survey, as it were. :o)

        2. buyone

          Re: Ah Memories @Chris W

          Yours is the most stupid post, the trouble is you drive on country roads and so do I.

          Can you see round corners? and stop in the distance you can see?

          You must be a school run mum to that posh school in the country. I have a video camera on my bicycle for posthumous evidence against road twats like you .

          "Never had an accident in the country side", then you are not driving fast. Up banks, through saplings, in off backwards because you don't know the road but it is night so you see headlights.

          The 205 1.9 was a nervous over-steerer, but I got thumbs up from bikers in Normandy over 20 miles.

          A Focus estate is faster than the 1.9, same corner but probably resurfaced in 25 years.

          The Sirocco GTi was impressive in the braking dept from 110.

          The MkII 8 valve was a beautiful cross country car better than the 16V (overtaken less than 5 times in 12 years on small A roads) Oh and Scooby drivers don't like being overtaken by a SMART so they force you out.

          The point is - nobody can drive fast on country corners unless you are young, immortal and selfish.

          If you want real driving then fold the windscreen flat and creak the wire wheels round corners on skinny tyres while having to come down the crash G/B at above max, rpm. If you drive then you will know the omitted details and perhaps keep the boy racer to your urban life.

      2. nsld

        Re: Ah Memories

        many fond memories of my 205 1.9 GTI.

        Took it to the Alps regularly in the winter, great fun on mountain roads, an easy drive down the autoroute and batshit mental when you needed it to be.

        As my Mum lived in the country I used to love popping down for visits, a proper car with none of the electronic gizmo stuff attached to it. You could even pop out the fuse on the ABS to make it more fun in the snow.

  9. Van

    Good article.

    The original Peugeot GTi wore out a lot quicker than VW's equivalent, which is around the time VW really earn't their reputation. I believe the French have caught up with VW in many areas in recent times making this GTi an interesting prospect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      * EARNED


  10. jungle_jim


    No doubt you could get a bit more out of it with a remap :)

  11. Badvok

    I always thought of the Renault 5 Turbo as "The Original Hot Hatch".

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Agreed, I had a Golf GTI at the time and my friend had the GT5, he could run rings around me. Far to powerfull in relation to its weight,road handlingm, chassis ( unless of course you know what you are doing which most don't)..... Roundabouts on a damp night in a GT5, oooooooohhhhhhhhh fuuuuuuuucccccckkkkkkkkk.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Seems like my comment about the point of these hot hatches is proving to be true.

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: @Khaptain @Chris W


    2. jeffdyer

      Nope the Golf GTI 1.6 released in 1975 was the first mass market "hot hatch", the R5 Turbo did not appear until 1980. The first one I was was on a school skiing trip in the early 1980s and this yellow and white "thing" came shooting through the village as we were walking home after an evening out.

      I still have my 1983 1.8GTI in the garage, in bits awaiting a rebuild.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My dad cheaped out and got me the 1.6 GTi when I was a lad, stupid thing caught light on my drive, wasn't even turned on!

    Have a rule now to not buy any French cars, as the turbo on my Renualt 5 GT Turbo died shortly after it started to rust up! This car looks interesting though, although would want to replace the garish red bits with something less chavy looking.....

    1. Monkeyman

      "My dad cheaped out and got me the 1.6 GTi when I was a lad, stupid thing caught light on my drive, wasn't even turned on!"

      He bought you a car and you have a temerity to call him cheap? Take a good hard look at yourself... no wonder you went AC.

  13. John Sims


    As much as I like IT and cars... When are you going to do some motorbike reviews?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GTI = Guaranteed Tosser In-front.

    1. Ross K

      I thought that was the photocopier saleman in the Audi A4 TDI

  15. andy gibson

    turbos and the manual

    Here you go, the manuals are here. See if you can find anything about the turbo:

  16. Eradicate all BB entrants

    I love being slighlty older ....

    ..... and owning a hot hatch (54 Cupra). It is the ideal trolling vehicle (not mine specifically, just hot hatches). Everyone expects me to launch from the lights and tear off at full pelt until something explodes. I don't speed, never have (ok the occasional whoops gone slightly over but nothing more than that). The reaction from other drivers when I don't drive like they expect is priceless. The looks on faces when they hear metal blaring out of it instead of dance music are quite amusing too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I love being slighlty older ....

      The looks on faces when they hear metal blaring out of it instead of dance music are quite amusing too.

      You mean those "turn the fscking racket down, you deaf plonker" looks?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One thing

    it aint, is a "sports" car....

  18. MJI Silver badge

    Original hot hatches

    Why does everyone forget the Talbot hot hatch?

    2.2l of goodness driving the back end.

    Perhaps it was too quick!

    1. Wing_Chun_Master

      Re: Original hot hatches

      any homolation road going group b rally car will do me and although less reliable would be a hell of alot more fun than many many modern cars...I'd choose the delta s4 or 6r4 for giggles but even the normal stuff like the Renault 5 turbo 2 rwd would do me .

      1. SYNTAX__ERROR

        Re: "homolation", "alot"

        What words are you saying?

    2. MrT
      Thumb Up

      Power by Lotus...

      ... always nice - beats the Isuzu Piazza 'Handling by Lotus' badge...

      I had a Vauxhall Firenza (non-droop, sadly), tuned by basically hooking up all the engine bits from the later Chevette HSR, which is also another hatch that is often overlooked. The Firenza was a proper handful in the wet, but sadly mine didn't last beyond 18yrs-old before tinworm saw it off. A friend took his 1800 Magnum Coupe off to rallycross with a FIAT 2.0 TC engine, Ford 5-speed axle, internal fuel tank, etc.

      These days the best price I've seen for a Snoot is just shy of £14k, (helps that there are less than 10 roadworthy ones left, plus a few SORNed out of the 204 made), and IIRC a Chev HSR with works team pedigree went a couple of years ago for around £10k. Pick the right car and they will appreciate - I keep seeing reports on a nice rebuild of a black 205 1.9GTi on links in Flipboard - as many original parts as possible, which is the way to do it.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Power by Lotus...

        All these proper cars, hmmm

        About 20 years ago I ran a 1600 Sunbeam for 5 years, it was a great car and as something broke I repalced it with rally car bits. rally springs, exhaust ect.

        I used to pick on the current hot hatches and win (XR3is ect).

        The big engined small Vauxhalls were similarly fun

  19. Justin Clements

    Enough of the history!

    First - Golf GTI, Peugeot 205 GTi. It's a little thing that demonstrates knowledge of the subject.

    Second, Golf GTI was 1976, Peugeot 205 GTi was 1984. The Peugeot did not create a new market - it had long since been created by VW.

    The Peugeot just happened to be the best of the copy cats.

    1. P Taylor

      Re: Enough of the history!

      Lets not forget the original Fiesta XR2. 1981 ?.

      I had a friend that had one, and I must have been 18 at the time (wow that was a long time ago). It seems ubber quick back then, and it had amazing handling. It was an absolute hoot to be in.

      But now when you look at it on paper, 0-60 was only 9.1sec !. Evidence that you don't have to go fast to have fun argument ?.

      1. jeffdyer

        Re: Enough of the history!

        Please, do let us forget it.

        Two of my mates had Black XR2s and they were sh*te compared with the Golf GTIs of the day.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Enough of the history!


        Were no match for my Sunbeam

    2. Mick Stranahan

      Re: Enough of the history!

      pedant - so an I became an i at some point in the editing process, big deal. And it's not as if the GTI is the subject of the review even.

      As for the launch dates of the VW (August 1979 for the RHD Golf GTI in the UK IIRC) and 205 (April 1984), the author said that together they created the idea of the hot hatch in the "imagination" of Joe Public which I think is a fair enough statement. If you'd asked anyone in 1985/6/7 to name two hot hatches I bet you a pound to a penny they'd have said the Golf GTI and the 205GTi before any of the others (GTE, XR3i et al).

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Enough of the history!

        Astra GTE


        I drove one once. I used to deliver cars for a Vauxhall dealer

        The torque steer was horrendous.

        Yes it was quick in a straightish line (torque steer), but too powerful for the chassis. Same engine in the Cavalier or Carlton was much more controllable, and top end the Carlton was quicker, (aerodynamic)

        I prefered the similar accelerating 3.0 Senator.

        It put me off FWD for life!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    VW GTI was the first hot hatch

    The Peugeot was an attempt to clown the original VW GTI.

  21. Wing_Chun_Master

    Looks like another wishy washy bag of shite that all car makers are producing these days..

    the 205 gti was a nice car to drive..would probably trounce this thing on a track and can be picked up for a fraction of the price in mint condition.

    I drive a 20 year old shed of a rover that does 0-60 in 6.2 and 150mph on paper...performance never seems to improve on all the so called modern hot hatches unless you want to spend around £30k and for that money I'd buy a second hand rs4 or something elegant.

    'Back in the day' a phrase I hate which the author used, it was common knowledge that hot hatches were cheaper run about cars with performance of bigger saloons often owned by younger drivers thanks to cheaper insurance and price.

    I just wish that someone like tata would make a real modern day hot hatch, the kinda car that weighs 800kg, looks mean instead of poncey, has no frills and is just a pleasure to drive.

    rant over...send the rover owner flames at will :D

    1. jeffdyer

      I think you would be surprised how much a "mint condition" 205 GTI would be worth, if you could find one. If you could I suspect it would be a "large" fraction of the price of this 208.

      Sadly Tata (or anyone else) could never build an 800kg hot hatch these days unless they invested in carbon fibre technology because there's no way all the required safety equipment could be built in without a ridiculously lightweight shell and suspension.

      This is why a modern MINI Cooper S needs 181 BHP to be only a second or so faster to 60 than a 110 odd BHP hot hatch from the '80s. (Quite a bit faster top speed though but that's not what a hot hatch is about)

    2. MJI Silver badge

      It is the weight

      I replaced my Sunbeam with a Carlton (needed a big saloon), that went OK for its size.


      1200kg is why, lighter than the then current hatches, 1500kg for a hatch some were, ridiculous.

      So a light saloon with medium sized engine could hassle a lates 90s warm overweight hatch, despite looking like it should be slower.

      The 205GTi worked as it weighed the same as a packet of crisps.

  22. jbarker73

    driven it

    After taking this car out for a spin at the CCIA at Milbrook i can honestly say i loved it.

    despite being limited to 100mph on the speedbowl i was impressed with how quick it got there.

    the handling on the alpine course was superb, im not usually a fan of pugs, but this was fantastic to drive, better than the citroen DS3

  23. Anonymous Brave Guy

    Why do most peugeot cars today sport huge radiator grills?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They're French.

      They think it is stylish.

      However, I would say that "cars" is a bit of a strong word to use in this context.

  24. Wing_Chun_Master

    As mentioned earlier I own a shed 1993 rover 2.0 turbo which is pretty much standard and running a little over 200hp with 12psi of boost.

    I've had the car 8 years...the rover is my daily hack and I run it hard from cold every day, don't let it cool down after a good flogging...which is pretty much every day and so far have had no engine problems or blown/seized turbocharger.

    All this, I'm a specialist in turbocharged cars and overstressed bollocks is a bit too much...

    Seeing as people mention 80s cars they'll probably remember Ford making a 1.8 litre engine pushing about 500hp...perhaps the renault 5 maxi making 450hp from a 1.4 litre engine or even the 1.4 litre BMW cars making 1100hp. Now that's overstressed.

    Since then the cars performance figures may not have increased so much but manufacturing processes and engine design has so 200hp from a 1.6 isn't so silly these days as to reduce reliability. Also the variable vane turbochargers mean that it isn't just point and squirt like in the old days.

    I'd also still prefer any 80s group b turbo road car to any tarted up heavy modern pap.

    Let's face it..the lightweight and fun original hot hatches will never be seen built again.

    1. MrT

      Turbos... yours the Rover Coupe? Always liked them, but the 2.0T also did fine work in the 800, as I recall. A guy I worked with had the non-turbo 800 in the early 90's, when he took his regular steer of to become a hill-climb car (he had an MG Metro that had been seen to by the Leeds MG Centre - bored to 1400, high-lift rockers, Kent cam, various ancillaries and a big carb, for about 120bhp - mental revving off the end of the tacho and smelled like it was running on neat GTX).

      There's a guy over in Germany who has a (IIRC) Mk4 1.8 Golf making over 1, 000bhp. Fitted with the 4x4 system, possibly one of those base models that UK never sees. Watching him out-drag all and sundry is amusing - worth a YouTube search or two. He says it's okay as a regular drive, since it's road legal ane not some sort of track-day special.

      1. Wing_Chun_Master

        Re: Turbos...

        yes mine is the coupe and here's a lesser known fact .. the 800 with that 2.0 Turbo engine holds the record for a production car on the isle of man TT circuit by Tony Pond the 6r4 works rally car driver. Funny because the stig tried it in an audi TT years later and came nowhere close :D

        I also had an MG metro for my first car, also bored out to 1380cc with everything done..pushing out 137hp on the rollers. Done by Watson's rally in wakefield. It had no power under 3krpm thanks to the high lift cam and the gearboxes (unknown to me) were only able to take 95lbs/ft of torque....4 gearboxes in a year and a half and fortunes spent in oil that it burnt slipping down those flexing beer mat thin cylinder walls and I finally had to let it go...most fun car I've ever owned tbh :D

  25. Stilted Banter

    'its natural habitat: on t’moors'

    As someone whose job takes him back and forth across t'moors every day, and frequently has to put up with the dangerous antics of sad spotty little wankers in hot hatches driving like idiots: thanks for that thought.

  26. Wing_Chun_Master

    the 205 was the publicity car that saved Peugeot...the 205 gti and the wild t16 homologated car used the group B rally to drum up sales for the company. It worked well...VW never produced anything even remotely approaching the 205 t16. It's often slated that without group B and the 205 Peugeot would have gone under at that time. They weren't coping VW they were competing with Lancia's supercharged and turbocharged Delta and Audi's quattro S1. Personally I've always favoured the little 1.3 106 Rallye as being the best Pug hot hatch I've driven in terms of fun and satisfying drive.

  27. MJA


    Everybody knows turbo charging a 1.0l 3-pot engine to get 100hp out of it isn't brilliant news. "The power of a 1.6 but the economy of a 1.0" is a catchy marketing term that we see through.

    It's just obvious and not worth arguing over. The problem is the days of using a happily revved naturally aspirated 2.0 engine in a hot hatch are well and truly over since they started charging £250 to tax them. My example here from another hot hatch is the Fiesta ST: The naturally aspirated 2.0 model from 05' is £220 to tax and the 1.6 turbo 2013 model is £125 to tax, despite being over 30hp more powerful.

    In the everyday market I don't think we will see anything with a displacement over 2.0l anymore. No more putting a bonkers 3.0l mid mounted V6 engine in a Renault Clio. Not until the government stop basing 100% of car pollution solely on C02 anyway, which isn't going to happen because it's easily measurable and taxable unlik the long term negative affect of the soot from the Diesel engines they are encouraging everybody to buy.

    Either way... the Pug 208 GTi is nice I think. On par with the other hot hatches of today - a little garish looking, tacky and loud inside and surprisingly nice to drive on motorways. They are all spewing out the same things. I guess because everything is now owned by everybody so there's no real variety in the cars anymore. Plastic, cheap & cheerful. I guess at least they don't have manual chokes and a tendency to break down every hour on the motorway, unlike the original hot hatches from the 80's :).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Choke"

      Overlooking your abysmal failures in the areas of spelling and grammar for a moment.

      A fuel-injection engine does not need a choke.

  28. PeterM42

    It looks like....

    .....someone trimmed the interior with Red Sugru (look it up - - fantastic stuff)

  29. ecofeco Silver badge

    Good review

    Seems everyone is making good cars these days. Fast. Reliable. High mpg. Fun to drive. (well, some)

    Too bad everyone seems to think ~20K (Euros, Pounds, Dollars) is some kind of bargain.




    Alun, why are you fapping over this? Have you never driven a car that is not French?

  31. Mr_Blister

    Thanks but no thanks....I will stick with my stock Peugeot 306 2.0 GTi, which has not been hit to death with the ugly tacky bling stick like the current Pug GTi has. The 306 XSi / GTi and 406 Coupé were the last great cars Peugeot made, and both were styled by Pininfarina.

  32. Emo

    What I would like to do is to pop one of these engines in to replace the 1.6 in my 205 GTI.

    Now that would be interesting.

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