Excitement must return to Peugeot says boss
Peugeot UK's managing director has admitted GTIs of recent years 'haven't lived up' to what those three iconic letters stand for.
But Jon Goodman has promised Autoblog that when that magic name reappears on a car again it will be on one that's 'great to drive'.
Quashing rumours that the GTI brand had gone for good, he hinted that we could be seeing a return to great hot hatches from the brand in the not too distant future.
'We haven't killed off the GTI brand,' said Goodman. 'You never know what might be coming down the tracks in months or years to come, but what I want to make sure of is that when we put GTI on a Peugeot it's something that lives up to its iconic past.'
In Goodman's eyes a GTI should have 'a specific chassis design and look' to be worthy of the branding.
He said: 'I want a GTI to be a car you're not ashamed to have fun in, a car that's great to drive and a car that you like to be seen in. It has to have the styling, a great chassis and an overall package that adds up to something wonderful.
'With cars like the RCZ Peugeot has gone back to making Peugeots again – cars that turn heads. That's why I came into the company 24 years ago, and why I'm still with the company, because we make cars that people like to see, like to drive and give that desire to drive them.
'We've made some good cars in recent years, but they perhaps lacked a little bit of that excitement and one of the biggest challenges for us now and our dealer network is to get that brand excitement back.'
Goodman also hinted that the Rallye name could return too. This was pinned on stripped down, lightweight hot hatches like the 306 Rallye and 106 Rallye – both revered by petrol heads for their driving thrills.
Goodman said Peugeot's success in the IRC Rally with Kris Meeke 'opened up the possibility to look at Rallye derivatives', but they'll be different to the cars that used to bear the name.
'I think the stripped out Rallye that we used to do - and all loved - might not appeal other than to a few great car enthusiasts, but a new take on that is something we are looking at,' explained Goodman.
Autoblog certainly hopes both a decent GTI and a Rallye variant aren't too far off...