Exclusive: Peugeot could produce a 208 GTi R

Peugeot 208 GTi R?
Peugeot is already considering an even hotter version of the soon-to-arrive 208 GTi – and it could wear an 'R' badge.

Peugeot UK managing director Tim Zimmerman told Autoblog at the Paris Motor Show that the RCZ R model shows 260bhp is achievable from the maker's THP engine – but that performance has to be usable if it's to be used in the 208.
The firm's 208 GTi will arrive in the spring with 200bhp and will instantly become the firm's quickest ever model. It will hit 60mph in under seven seconds, stealing the legendary 205 GTi 1.9's crown as the fastest accelerating Peugeot ever.

However, not a firm to rest on its laurels, the French maker hasn't ruled out producing an even faster variant. And the UK chief said the R badge would be a "logical" move.

"There's always scope for hotter versions," said Zimmerman. "You'll have seen on our stand the RCZ R (pictured below) which has 260bhp. The 208 GTi is already the fastest Peugeot yet so I think we'll just try and get to grips with that first.

Peugeot RCZ R

"But the RCZ R has shown that with the THP engine it is possible to get 260bhp. So there is scope for a hotter version of the 208 GTi. But it needs usable performance. BHP is one thing, but you have to be able to use it and get the most from it.

"However, knowing our engineers, they won't be resting on what they're already made."

Peugeot currently has 14,000 orders for the 208 and it is helping push the brand into the premium arena. Zimmerman expects to sell around 2,000 GTi variants a year which would place it immediately as one of the biggest selling performance models in the segment, competing with the Mini Cooper.

And if those sales figures turn out to be too conservative, more GTi models will be brought into the UK.

"It could go either way," said Zimmerman. "It could take off like the 205 GTi did and if that's the case we can get more stock."
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