Take it as Red, GTi is here

FOLLOWING the launch of the new 208 in June, Peugeot is adding a GTi version to the line-up.

Sitting on a widened track - increased by 10mm at the front and 20mm at the rear - these three-door models can be identified by the sporty bodywork and wheels that hug the arches.

Outside also features a gloss black rear skirt, a trapezoid chromed double tailpipe, chromed strips along the lower edge of the window and the GTi logo in bright chrome accentuated with red.

Regardless of the exterior colour chosen, this red can be seen throughout the vehicle - on brake callipers, grille lower bead, Peugeot lettering on the tailgate and on the grille. In addition, the mesh of the grille has a 3D chequered motif.

Front light clusters include halogen headlamps using LED technology for the directional indicators and daytime lighting. These lamps frame a gloss black grille with bright chrome inserts.

Inside the colour scheme combines red, black and satin chrome and red GTi overstitching throughout. The dashboard - complete with red overstitching - houses a high-mounted instrument panel which, echoing the LED functions of the headlamps, has dials surrounded with satin chrome beads backlit by LEDs and needles which move on a brushed aluminium background.

The sportive sports seats have black seat belts with red edging - a colour combination repeated in the 208 GTi floor mats, the leather steering wheel and handbrake lever.

On the road the springs, calibration of the shock absorbers, anti-roll bar, enhanced front sub frame and rear cross member rigidity are specific to the GTi. It is fitted with 205/45 tyres, the 17-inch diamond carbon wheels, housing 302mm ventilated discs at the front and 249mm at the rear.

The 1.6-litre THP 200bhp petrol engine emits a rumble all its own. Coupled with a manual gearbox with six, close-ratio gears, the engine generates maximum torque of 275Nm and its maximum power 200bhp. It has the potential of acceleration from 0 to 62mph in less than seven seconds. CO2 emissions run at 145g/km.

The 208 GTi is on display at the Paris Motor Show this month. It will be on sale early in 2013. Prices to be announced nearer the launch date.