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Peugeot 208 GTi concept pushes 147kW

Peugeot's 205 GTi of the '80s was something of an icon in the boy racer circles of Europe, but none of its successors have really stepped up to the plate in a big way.

Which is why the hot hatch world will be waiting with baited breath for its latest spiritual successor, the imminent 208 GTi, which Peugeot has just revealed in concept form ahead of its Geneva show debut next month

Peugeot 208 GTi concept has the show and the go but will it live up to the legend of its 205 ancestor?

Given that it looks decidedly production ready, don't expect this concept to change much as it morphs into the car that will flock to showroom floors later this year.

Using the sporty, and slightly quirky, three-door 208 body shell as a starting point, the GTi's visual makeover adds LED headlights, extended wheel arches, side skirts, double-chromed exhaust pipes and even chequered flag motifs in the grille.

But this hot hatch is far from just a show-off. Beneath that curvy bonnet lurks the same 147kW 1.6-litre turbopetrol engine that powers the RCZ. Naturally, it's also linked to a six-speed manual gearbox.

OPC, BEWARE

No performance figures have been bandied about as yet, but this GTi would almost certainly give the 132kW VW Polo GTI and 141kW Opel Corsa OPC some kind of hiding. Cross fingers that Peugeot doesn't chicken out with a detuned version for the production car.

To sharpen its cornering talent, the GTi concept also gets a 36mm-wider track at both ends while 302mm front and 249mm rear brake discs ensure decent stopping power.

Peugeot has also gone all-out in the cabin, fitting Nappa leather sports seats, a red-coloured flat-bottomed sports steering wheel, black roof lining and high-tech instruments with LED backlighting.

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