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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 the …

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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!"

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@OP

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.

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WTF?

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.

WHOOSH

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...

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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...

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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.

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Re: @OP

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

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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.....

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

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Facepalm

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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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?

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Huh...

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

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Facepalm

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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Re: Huh...

Is baffon French for buffoon?

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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.

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Re: It still looks

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

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The engine

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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WTF?

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...

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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?

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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..

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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.

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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.

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Devil

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Coat

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.

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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.

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Re: The engine

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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