Car video reviews:

Peugeot 2008 GTi Will Happen Eventually, but a Rendering Will Suffice for Now

Earlier this week, Peugeot revealed a mid-life facelift for the 2008, its smallest crossover model. Somehow, a GT trim level snuck its way into the lineup and got people thinking about a hot version of the car again.
Peugeot 2008 GTi 1 photo
For now, the letters G and T only add a sporty body kit that upgrades the 2008 to a posh MINI rival. However, the 308 hatchback has both a GT Line and a proper GT hot model with around 200 horsepower from a 1.6-liter turbo engine. Now, that unit can also be tuned to 270 hp when the RCZ R and 308 GTi require it. But a cool version of the little crossover du jour wouldn't need that much power.

From Peugeot's point of view, the question is not "how?" but "why?", as the idea of building a crossover and then making it faster by lowering the suspension cuts against the grain. However, nobody seems to complain about the blistering speeds a Porsche Cayenne or a BMW X5 can achieve even without the sports treatment.

Cutting 10mm from the suspension makes even more sense for the 2008 when you consider that most customers never even let it get dirty. Currently, the most powerful engine you can have is a 1.2-liter turbo rated at 130 hp. However, bigger and heavier 1.6-liter diesels are also available.

Looking at this rendering of the 2008 GTi made by X-Tomi Design is almost as if we're gazing at what the 208 could have been. Peugeot was making its cars bigger and bigger, but changed the formula and shrunk the supermini to a size that appeals to urban drivers. In a way, the 2008 crossover plays the role of an MPV, offering more practicality and space than its little brother.

We think the balance is on the verge of tipping in favor of sports crossovers. Even though SUVs are supposedly the most popular segment, if you break the numbers into different sizes, only the tiny ones and the C-segment Nissan Qashqai are doing well. The Opel Mokka, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 are all becoming unexpected sales successes.

Would a 2008 GTi be cool enough to buy? That's the million euro question, and we think the answer is yes. Even if you include the powerful 2.0-liter diesel engines into the equation, almost no family car buyers have a 200 horsepower machine in their driveway. Peugeot could do that and corner the market of tiny Cayenne Turbos with a French accent.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories