Peugeot is celebrating its sporting pedigree by showing a number of high performance models from past and present in an exhibition at SMMT’s Westminster headquarters. Included in the display is the manufacturer’s new 208 GTi, flagship RCZ coupe and the iconic 205 GTi.
First on sale in the UK in 1984, the 205 GTi made the Peugeot brand synonymous with the hot hatch movement of the mid-1980s. Offered with both 1.6 and 1.9 litre engines – the latter of which developed 130bhp from 1987 onwards – and weighing just 850kg, the 205 GTi offered sports-car rivalling pace coupled with the practicality and versatility of a small family car.
As well as being a monumental sales success, with 62,000 units sold in the UK, the 205 GTi was also highly credited in the motor sport world, with the 205 T16 winning the 1985 Word Rally Championship and the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1987. Peugeot went on to create a number of noteworthy hot hatches throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s including the 309 GTi, 306 GTi-6 and 106 Rallye.
Today the Peugeot GTi name is succeeded by the 208 which, heralded as a return to hot-hatch form for the manufacturer, blends sporting prowess with impressive efficiency. Powered by a turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol engine developing 200bhp and 275Nm torque, the 208 GTi delivers 47.9mpg and 139g/km CO2. Following in its predecessor’s wheel-tracks, a T16 version of the 208 also enjoyed motorsport success, setting a new Pikes Peak record in 2013 in the hands of multiple World Rally Champion, Sebastian Loeb.
Following radical restyling in late 2012, Peugeot’s two-door RCZ coupe embodies the epitome of sports car design. Offered with a range of petrol and diesel engines, the RCZ has proved a successful addition to Peugeot’s model line-up, while the 2014 introduction of the 270bhp RCZ R will allow a sub-six second sprint to 62mph yet offer fuel efficiency of 44.8mpg.