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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ?

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Get a real car"

i.e. not one that is French.

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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.

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

* EARNED

FTFY

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Remap

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

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Meh

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

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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.....

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Anonymous Coward

@Khaptain

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

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Re: @Khaptain @Chris W

Third.

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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.

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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.....

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FAIL

"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.

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So...

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

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Anonymous Coward

GTI = Guaranteed Tosser In-front.

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Silver badge
Devil

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

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turbos and the manual

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

http://public.servicebox.peugeot.com/ddb/

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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.

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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?

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Anonymous Coward

One thing

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

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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!

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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 .

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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.

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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

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Re: "homolation", "alot"

What words are you saying?

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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.

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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 ?.

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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.

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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).

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MJI
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Enough of the history!

XR2s

Were no match for my Sunbeam

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: Enough of the history!

Astra GTE

Aghh

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!

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Anonymous Coward

VW GTI was the first hot hatch

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

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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

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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)

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MJI
Silver badge

It is the weight

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

Why?

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.

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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

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Why do most peugeot cars today sport huge radiator grills?

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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.

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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.

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MrT

Turbos...

...is 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.

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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

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