CarsSpotted in the wild

Spiritual successor to the legendary 205 GTi?

The 205 GTi is held in high regard in petrolhead circles … with good reason.  I’ve seen polls where the 205GTi is voted as the best car of the decade (CAR magazine, 1990).  It also won many world rally championship rounds, and was a common sight on roads when I was growing up.

Great expectations … will this put a smile on faces?


The GTi variant, launched in 1984, was initially powered by a 1.6 engine producing 104bhp in its first guise and was joined in 1986 by a 1.9 engined variant producing 126bhp.  It also has the distinction of never undergoing a facelift, speaking volumes for just how pleasing the Pinanfarina design was.


And here, on the street in Greece, I see a 208 GTi at rest.  My initial reaction is one of excitement as I’m not long after reviewing the diesel version of the 208, and would really love a go in this hotter version.




Launched in 2012, the 208 GTi is fitted with a 1.6 litre four cylinder in line turbo powerplant producing just under 200bhp and has a proper stick shift with six cogs. This engine, codenamed Prince, was a joint development between the PSA Group (Peugeot and Citroen) and BMW, so benefits from the BMW Vanos variable valve timing system.  The variant of this engine used in version two of the 208 GTi won its eighth consecutive International Engine of the Year Award in the 1.4 to 1.8-litre category in 2014, so that was obviously a linkup that worked!  Note that a similar variant of this engine is utilised in the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works GP, also a pocket rocket.

Did I say version two?  What was version two?  PeugeotSport decided that version one with just under 200bhp was not a good enough successor to the legendary 205, so they took the 30th anniversary edition of version one and used that as a basis for version two.  In this guise, we have been given 208bhp (a nice touch, I thought) and better suspension (alongside the standard model’s facelift).  Hmm … already the story for this car is wrong, as the 205 was spot on when initially released.  I wish manufacturers would let the design and planning for the higher performance variants be handled by the in-house petrolheads and not the bean counters …

And the story gets worse – in 2019, Peugeot dropped this model from their lineup … maybe they’ll bring it back as the second generation of the 208 ramps up sales.  Time will tell.

The view most people get as this car shoots past …

So what we have here, in the middle of downtown Kalamata in Greece, is a pretty rare beast.  It’s a version two 208 GTi in a nice red, with the proper trimmings and a cracking engine.  I’d love to get behind the wheel of this, especially since I drove the torquey diesel variant of the 208 a while ago and liked the driving dynamics.  I’d also love to see if this drives anywhere near as the 208 T16 variant that a certain Sebastien Loeb rocketed up the Pikes Peak hill climb course in 2013, smashing the previous record of 9:46.164 with a new record time of 8:13.878.  The same car also won the hillclimbing race at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June 2014.  I’m a huge fan of hillclimbing, so I’d love to give this a go!

This car strikes me as something designed to attract petrolheads – reasonably under the radar but with one the best engines on the market.  Make sure to give a thumbs up to any you see on the road – you know there’s a car enthusiast behind the wheel.



Peugeot 208 GTi (v2) – Vital Statistics

Power155 kW (208 bhp) @ 5800rpm
Torque300 Nm (221 lb/ft) @ 1700rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)6.3 seconds
Maximum speed230 km/h (142 mph)
Fuel consumption (average)5.4 l/100km (52.3 mpg)
Fuel type, tank capacityPetrol, 60 litres
Weight1160 kg
Transverse mounted,
Direct injection,
BMW Vanos
Low pressure die cast cylinder heads
Displacement1598 cc
Cylinders and valves4 cyl inline, 16v
Transmission6 speed manual (BV6M/MCA)
DrivetrainFront wheel drive

Peugeot 208 recalls

A plastic component (spacer) included in the exhaust line could damage the Diesel Particle Filter (DPF) under certain conditions, creating small cracks or holes. Depending on the amount of damage, the particulate emission level could exceed regulatory limits.

The Peugeot 208 models affected by this recall were manufactured between 7. 11. 2016 – 27. 6. 2018.

VIN range: VF3CAYHYSHW062172 – VF3CCYHYSJW087476

Recall code: JDE  Source: Rapex Alert 43/2019

The steering column was incorrectly assembled on the shaft of the steering system. Consequently, the steering column and the steering system could separate, leading to sudden loss of steering control.

The Peugeot 208 models affected by this recall were produced between 6. 7. 2018 – 12. 7. 2018.


Company recall code: JJJ    Source: Rapex Alert 6/2019

Screws anchoring the alternator and the air conditioning compressor may not be tightened to the correct torque. As a result, the alternator or the compressor could detach from the engine and fall onto the road.

The recall affects vehicles produced between 27. 11. 2017 – 29. 11. 2017.

An engine part may not work correctly, leading to power loss. This could potentially result in the engine stalling or engine failure. In very rare circumstances, the vehicle may unexpectedly accelerate slightly before suddenly stopping.

The recall affects vehicles produced between 4. 10. 2017 – 27. 11. 2017.

The front axle may not have been assembled with the correct tightening torques. As result, parts of the front axle could become loose leading to impaired steering capacity of the vehicle.

The recall affects vehicles manufactured between 21. 7. 2017 – 21. 9. 2017.

An internal component of an electric relay is faulty. As a consequence, the starter may not be activated, the starter control may be constantly blocked or the starter may operate unexpectedly. This could lead to unexpected movement of the vehicle or fire caused by damage to the starter due to overheating.

The recall concerns vehicles produced between 11. 7. 2016 – 11. 10. 2016.

A failure in the manufacturer’s gluing process when assembling the rear spoiler could lead to parts of the spoiler detaching while the vehicle is moving, causing a hazard for following vehicles.

Vehicles manufactured between 5 January 2017 and 25 January 2017 are recalled.

A problem with a component of the gearbox actuator could prevent gear changing or cause the driver to change to the wrong gear. This could lead to the vehicle moving in the opposite direction to that intended by the driver.

Vehicles manufactured between 13 May 2016 and 22 June 2016 are recalled.

Possible presence of a plastic part in an inlet valve of the ABS/ESP (anti-lock braking system/electronic stabilisation program) unit may cause faulty regulation by the ABS/ESP and untimely wheel-locking.

The recall concerns vehicles which have been produced between 30. 3. – 20. 4. 2016

The welding of the fuel injector of the engine may be incorrect. This can lead to a breakdown of the engine and the display of a warning light and alert message on the dashboard. In extreme circumstances, fuel may leak which could lead to a fire.

The recall concerns vehicles which have been produced between 20.5.2014 and 18.6.2014

Oil may leak from the turbocharger on to hot engine parts which could lead to a fire breaking out, even after the engine has been switched off.

The recall concerns vehicles which have been produced between 7 January and 23 February 2016 inclusive.

The roll-over valve located inside the petrol tank may not work properly. In case of the vehicle turning over, a fuel leak could occur which may lead to a fire.

The recall concerns vehicles which have been produced between 29. 4. – 10. 7. 2015.

A lack of conformity in the assembly of an internal component of the ABS/ESP system may result in an inability to modulate the fluid pressure when the ABS/ESP function is used. This may lead to a system malfunction.

The recall affects vehicles produced during the period 16.12.2011 and 13.01.2012.


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