Peugeot 208


Debut: 2012
Maker: Peugeot
Predecessor: 207



 Published on 27 Apr 2012 All rights reserved. 


Following 5.3 million units of 205 and 7 million units of 206, Peugeot managed to shift only 2.4 million copies of 207 worldwide. Its commercial failure is all the more bitter as the 20X series has always been the cash cow of the group. What led to its failure? Undoubtedly, intense competition and the continuing availability of 206 hurt its sales, but most crucial was the car itself – it was not good enough. Criticisms about the 207 ranged from an ugly front-end styling, dull interior, overweight to poor interior space. In other words, poor packaging. Therefore, in the design of 208 Peugeot put packaging on the first priority. In particular, it focused the most energy on two areas: styling and weight reduction.

The styling of 208 is a day-and-night difference from 207. While the old car emphasized a harmonious form, new design chief Gilles Vidal prefers a fashionable approach that puts more weight on elegant details. This can be seen from the unusual C-shape taillights, the chromed "floating" front grille, the "eyelash" LED lights above the main headlamps and the twisted waistline below front quarter windows. The 3-door hatchback is even more stylish, thanks to deep concaves pressed onto the doors and a characteristic tab located at each C-pillar – the latter obviously pays tribute to the legendary 205GTi. Even the fog lamps have extended chromed tabs to make them different. In short, Mr. Vidal hates ordinary and wants the 208 to speak of style from any angles. It could be a bit heavy-handed at times, but I suppose the 208 should have stronger showroom appeal than its key rivals, such as Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta.



So the first target is met. The next task is to slash weight. Peugeot did not employ many expensive lightweight materials due to the need to control costs. Apart from the aluminum front impact beam, the rest of the body is made of steel, including high strength and ultra-high strength steel. Like Mazda 2, the 208 managed to cut substantial weight by smart engineering – every component was designed and selected with weight optimization in mind. For example, by reducing noise at source (engine), it could cut the sound deadening materials used throughout the cabin. By using laser welding on the roof, it can reduce the amount of steel without compromising stiffness.

The whole car is also downsized a bit to trim weight. While it keeps the old car's 2540 mm wheelbase, 60 mm has been chopped from the front overhang and another 10 mm has been eliminated from the tail. The roof now stands 10 mm closer to the ground. Brilliantly, it manages to squeeze more space from the smaller outer dimensions. Boot volume is increased by 15 liters, while rear passengers get 50 mm of extra legroom. This proves how much space was wasted on its predecessor. The new car is also more aerodynamic efficient, with a Cd starting from only 0.29.

So how much weight has it saved? If you compare the 208 and 207 equipped with the same 1.4HDi motor, you will find the former is 110 kg lighter. If your comparison is based on comparable performance, the gap will be even wider. For example, the 208 1.2VTi weighs just 975 kg, at least 150 kg lighter than the 207 with comparable performance. In the following table you can see that model is lighter than all key rivals bar Mazda 2. Thanks to this lightweight, it offers the best combination of performance and emission. See the power of lightweight engineering!

Model
Kerb weight
CO2
Power
Top speed
Mazda 2 1.3
955 kg
115 g/km
75 hp
104 mph
Peugeot 208 1.2VTi
975 kg
104 g/km
82 hp
109 mph
Kia Rio 1.25
1029 kg
114 g/km
86 hp
107 mph
Ford Fiesta 1.25
1041 kg
124 g/km
82 hp
104 mph
Honda Jazz 1.2 i-VTEC
1047 kg
123 g/km
90 hp
110 mph
Volkswagen Polo 1.2
1072 kg
119 g/km
70 hp
102 mph
Opel Corsa 1.2
1075 kg
119 g/km
86 hp
107 mph
Peugeot 207 1.4i
1123 kg
145 g/km
73 hp
104 mph




Lightweight construction also allows the 208 to take the trend of engine downsizing. The brand-new 3-cylinder 1.2 VTi engine will play an important role in the product mix. It has aluminum block and head and an integrated exhaust manifold to keep weight to the minimum. Dual-VVT guarantees good spread of torque, which peaks at 87 lbft from merely 2750 rpm. On-demand oil pump and automatic stop-start guarantee low fuel consumption and emission. With a usable 82 horsepower, the little motor is surprisingly capable to move the lightweight 208. Its three-cylinder vibration is well suppressed and its vocal is pleasant to hear. If your drive is mostly confined in urban area, the 1.2 VTi will be the best choice.

Other choices include 1.0 VTi (68hp, downsized version of the 1.2 VTi), 1.4 VTi (95hp), 1.6 VTi Valvetronic (120hp), 1.6 THP DI turbo (156hp), 1.4 e-HDi (68hp) and a pair of 1.6 e-HDi (92hp or 115hp). The four-cylinder motors are carried over from the old car, so we are not going to spend more time on them. To cut a long story short, the 115hp 1.6 e-HDi is highly recommended to those spending more miles on motorway. In the real world it is actually quicker and more refined than the 1.6 VTi. Keen drivers should opt for the 1.6 THP, which provides near-GTi level of performance, i.e. 0-60 under 7 seconds! The real GTi, powered by 200hp version of the same motor, will be even quicker, but it is still a year away at least.

Peugeot must be proud that all its engines are equipped with automatic stop-start, including the diesels
– now you know why they are called e-HDi. Equally respectable is all diesels emit no more than 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer. It takes just one generation to go from the dirtiest to the cleanest of the class!



The same progress can be seen in the cabin as well. The 208 looks and feels completely different from the class norm as it has changed the relationship between steering wheel, instrument reading and your sight. It employs a small-diameter steering wheel and mounts the instrument pod high on the dashboard so that you see the instrument reading above – rather than through – the steering wheel. What are the benefits? Peugeot said the small steering wheel frees up space (at least subjectively), and the high-mounted instrument keeps your sight line closer to the road ahead thus benefit safety and ease of read. That is generally true, but not drivers of all sizes will be benefited. Some may find the steering wheel rim blocks the lower half of the instrument after the driving position is adjusted to the most comfortable position to them.

That aside, the interior is a success. Although its build quality is not up to the high standard of Audi A1 or Volkswagen Polo, its use of lacquer, soft-touch plastics, metallic grab handles and leather (on premium trims) delivers a classy feel. The clean, minimalist dashboard design is refreshing in the seas of superminis, especially compare with the Nokia-style Fiesta dash. The use of 7-inch LCD touch screen for the infotainment system saves dozens of buttons and is easy to use. The cabin is also competitive in terms of space. By using thinner front seats, the rear is finally spacious enough to seat average-size adults, although rear headroom may be marginal if you opt for panoramic glass roof.



The 208's chassis is a development from the outgoing car. The layout is nothing special – with suspension consisting of struts up front and a twist beam at the rear, and a brushless type electric power steering – but the tuning philosophy is different. It abandons the French old-school of absorbent ride for a tauter, Germanic setup. In addition to the less weight of which its suspension needs to take care, body control is markedly improved. It feels more nimble to steer, more stable in corners and more precise to control. Grip level and cornering limits are enhanced, too. However, compare with the class-leading Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, its ride is a little stiffer and noisier. The steering is precise but a little light and short of feedback. In addition to the lack of 6th gear on most engines, highway refinement is not something to be proud of.

Peugeot made no secret that it wanted to recapture the spirit of 205 with this car. Judging from its shortcomings in driving dynamics, I would say the objective is not fully accomplished yet. However, the 208 is unquestionably more competitive than the 207, thanks to its impressive style, packaging and efficiency. Best of all, it dares to be different from the increasingly harmonized class norm. Perhaps this is what Peugeot means the spirit of 205!
Verdict: 
 Published on 3 Apr 2013
All rights reserved. 
208 GTI


In recent weeks, hot hatch lovers must be excited to see the launch of Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio IV RS and Peugeot 208 GTI. All of them have the potential to be the new class leader for the next several years. Nevertheless, after the initial excitement is the cruel reality: they do not quite revive the spirit of the legendary 205 GTI or the last Clio RS. In order to please the taste of modern drivers, they are made softer, more practical and comfortable, sacrificing the sharp edges that used to make hot hatches so much fun to drive. Manufacturers should not be blamed. They just chase the demand of customers. What we have to ask is why there are so few people understand the fun of driving hot hatches. As long as the majority of buyers think in "modern" ways, the good old days of hot hatches will not come back.

At the launch of 208 GTI, Peugeot marketing guys talked about reviving the spirit of 205 GTI. In certain aspects, they might be right. For example, the new car is made slightly smaller and about 90 kg lighter than the outgoing 207 GTI. This make it feels nimble again. Also like the legendary ancestor, it avoids complication as far as possible. Back in 1984, the SOHC 8-valve engine used by 205 GTI was considered as outdated compared with Japanese multi-valve engines or Renault's turbocharged engine being around, but it performed remarkably well in the real world. The 208 GTI is similar. It doesn't offer any dual-clutch geabox, torque vectoring, different driver modes or artificial engine noise, whereas its power comes from the tried and trusted PSA-Mini 1.6 THP. The latter gets the same state of tune as RCZ (200 hp and 203 lbft of torque) but without the latter's sporty exhaust. You might even say it simple to the extent of boring!

Changes to exterior is even more subtle. Only good eyes can spot the mesh front grille, the larger rear spoiler and the "GTi" badges at the C-pillars. If you look for fire-breathing air intakes, jaw-dropping air dam or racy diffusers, you will be disappointed. Even the 205/45VR17 tires are no larger than the ones on 156 hp 1.6 THP model. Inside, there are sportier bucket seats and a metal gear knob, but pretty much everything else are standard items.



Modifications to the chassis is not much better. The front subframe is strengthened to reduce distortion to steering. The suspension is lowered by merely 8 mm, accompanied with 20 percent stiffer springs, thicker and stiffer dampers, stronger anti-roll bars and a slight extension of tracks (10 mm and 20 mm wider front and rear, respectively). Reprogrammed power steering assistance and larger brakes complete the modifications.

On the road, the 208 GTI is definitely better to drive than 207 and 206 GTI. Its chassis is more neutral and agile. Its steering gets quicker and more precise, while the small-diameter steering wheel is handy. However, to say it reviving the legend of 205 GTI is an overstatement. Its handling is far more matured and forgiving at the limit than the old car, but it is nowhere as interactive. Not only the electrical power steering is not as feelsome, its handling is almost fool-proof, with lots of grip so that it is not easy to overwhelm the chassis with power, even with ESP turned off. Lift off mid-corner may tighten the line, but just a tiny bit, so it is guaranteed not to bite you. As novices can drive this new GTI as good as skilled drivers, there is no room to demonstrate your superior driving skill.

On the plus side, the car is more comfortable to drive on daily basis. Driving leisurely and you will be amazed by its similarity with lesser 208s. Its suspension rides well on bumpy roads. Its turbo engine is quiet at low speed – probably too quiet for a performance-oriented machine. Even at higher rev it is not especially exciting, blame to a characterless noise. Perhaps Peugeot should have also transplanted the exhaust from RCZ, because that car sounds much better. Noise aside, this example of 1.6 THP engine is hampered by a soft response at low rpm, which reads "turbo lag". As a result, its power delivery doesn't feel as smooth and linear as the rivaling Fiesta ST and Clio RS turbo even though they look close enough on paper. That said, if you can work smartly on the slightly rubbery 6-speed manual gearshift to keep the engine in its sweet zone, you can get good performance, with 143 mph top speed and 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

Now the important question: how does it compare with its rivals? The early impression is the Fiesta ST has a better engine and a more throttle-steerable chassis, so it comes top. The Renault and Peugeot are very close. The former has a better engine and probably higher performance, but its dual-clutch gearbox is annoyingly slow. The Peugeot's gearshift is not great either, but at least it lets the driver do the job as wished. None of them are quite the ultimate hot hatch we having been looking for. Perhaps that is why the 205 GTI is so memorable to us.
Verdict:
 Published on 12 Dec 2014
All rights reserved. 
208 GTI 30th Anniversary


This year is the 30th anniversary of Peugeot 205 GTI, which is probably the greatest hot hatch ever made in the eyes of many car enthusiasts. In the past 3 decades, Peugeot failed to build another hot hatch as great. No matter 206 S16 (GTI), 206 RC (GTI 180), 207 GT Turbo or 207 RC (GTI), they could not quite replicate the pure driving thrills of the original, blame to their softer, safer chassis tuning. The latest 208 GTI came closer, but it still leaves a thin layer between the machine and man. You can’t help feeling sorry that it could have been tuned sharper and more aggressive, if it was set to delight keen drivers rather than the majority. Fortunately, Peugeot has answered our request and brought us the GTI 30th Anniversary edition. It is set to release the full potential of 208 GTI!

Cosmetic-wise, the 30th Anv differs very little from the regular version. It doesn’t have an overhauled fascia like the usual practice of rivals, nor does it get a rear diffuser like Renaultsport Clio. The only major change is a set of larger, 18-inch wheels, yet the 205/40 tires surrounding them are no wider than the regular GTI’s. The visual differences are so subtle that Peugeot needs to introduce a special 2-tone paint scheme to distinguish it. I am not a fan of the combination of matt black and red as pictured, so the alternative all-red or all-white paint might be a better option.



The special edition does get a pair of sport bucket seats that are good-looking, grippy and supportive. Apart from the extra performance and sharper handling, that must be a good reason to the spend the premium of 10 percent over the GTI.

Changes to the engine are just as subtle as the exterior. The 1.6 turbo is tuned to produce an extra 8 horsepower and 18 pound-foot of torque, which means a total of 208 hp and 221 lbft. Considering the company’s RCZ R is good for 270 hp and 243 lbft from largely the same motor, this state of tune is quite modest. However, the hot hatch’s 6-speed manual gearbox does get the same gear ratios as the RCZ R, as is the standard-fitted Torsen limited slip differential, which enhances traction significantly. Meanwhile, more grip is guaranteed by the Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubbers it employ. Compared to the regular GTI, its suspension is set 10 mm closer to the ground. Front and rear springs are stiffened by 30 and 80 percent respectively. Front and rear tracks are widened by 22 mm and 16 mm. Stoppers are also upgraded. The front brakes get not only larger discs but also Brembo 4-pot calipers.

On the road, the extra power is not easy to be detected without comparing with the regular GTI side by side. However, with less than 1200 kg to haul, 200-plus horsepower and pound-foot are more than enough to feel quick – we are talking about 0-60 mph in the low 6-seconds range. I doubt more power could bring more fun. The BMW-designed engine is smooth and flexible. The gear ratios are well spaced, although the long-throw shifter is not the most enjoyable to use.



What makes the difference is how much better the 30th Anv edition put down the power. The combination of new rubbers and LSD eliminates wheel spin in tight corners, allowing you to plant the throttle earlier and deeper out of bend, thus corners considerably faster. Like the regular GTI, there is some torque steer can be felt, but it rarely affects the maneuver or spoils the driving pleasure. With stiffer suspensions, the car controls its pitch and roll more tightly, feels sharper and more precise to turn. The steering feels slightly heavier and more communicative than on the GTI. The braking is vastly improved, offering stronger stopping power and great pedal feel. In addition to the enhanced traction, this gives you a lot more confidence to push the car harder in the twisty.

The car is also more playful. Its understeer has been dialed back thanks to the use of a softer anti-roll bar up front and a stiffer one at the back. Moreover, Peugeot remapped its traction and stability control to allow more slip before intervening. Even if you switch off the electronics completely, you will find a well balanced chassis and a much more neutral attitude which allows you to kick the tail out with a sudden lift of throttle, something never seen on a Peugeot since 205 GTI! Among the current generation of hot hatches, only Ford Fiesta ST is more playful still.

Thankfully, the GTI 30th Anniversary edition is still a great road car to drive every day. Its ride remains composed if firm. The cabin remains stylish and premium feeling. Exhaust and tire noises are not excessive. Fuel consumption is as good as economy cars of a decade ago. Peugeot is finally back to the top of the game!

Verdict:
Specifications





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
208 1.2VTi
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-3
1199 cc
DOHC 12 valves, DVVT
-
-
82 hp
87 lbft
5-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
185/65TR15
975 kg
109 mph (c)
11.5 (est)
-
208 1.6VTi
2012
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT, VVL
-
-
120 hp
118 lbft
5-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
195/55HR16
1090 kg
118 mph (c)
8.4 (c)
-
208 1.6HDi
2012 (2015)
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-4, diesel
1560 cc
DOHC 16 valves
VTG turbo
CDI
115 hp (120 hp)
199 lbft (210 lbft)
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
195/55HR16
1090 kg (1115 kg)
118 mph (c)
9.1 (c) (8.8)
-




Performance tested by: -





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
208 1.6THP
2012 (2015)
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, VVT
Turbo
DI
156 hp (165 hp)
177 lbft
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/45VR17
1140 kg
134 mph (c) (135 mph)
6.9 (c) (7.0)
-
208 GTI
2013 (2015)
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
200 hp (208 hp)
203 lbft (221 lbft)
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/45VR17
1160 kg
143 mph (c)
6.5 (c) (6.2)
-
208 GTI 30th Anv
(GTI by Peugeot Sport)
2014 (2015)
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1450 mm
2538 mm
Inline-4
1598 cc
DOHC 16 valves, DVVT, VVL
Turbo
DI
208 hp / 5800 rpm
221 lbft / 1700 rpm
6-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
205/40ZR18
1185 kg
143 mph (c)
6.2 (c) / 6.5*
16.1*




Performance tested by: *Autocar





Year
Layout
Chassis
Body
Length / width / height
Wheelbase
Engine
Capacity
Valve gears
Induction
Other engine features
Max power
Max torque
Transmission
Suspension layout

Suspension features
Tires
Kerb weight
Top speed
0-60 mph (sec)
0-100 mph (sec)
208 1.2THP
2015
Front-engined, FWD
Steel monocoque
Mainly steel
3962 / 1739 / 1460 mm
2538 mm
Inline-3
1199 cc
DOHC 12 valves, DVVT
Turbo
DI
110 hp
151 lbft
5-speed manual
F: strut
R: torsion-beam
-
185/65R15
1060 kg
118 mph (c)
9.0 (c)
-


















































Performance tested by: -





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