Peugeot 208 GTi by

Peugeot Sport

Peugeot 208 GTi, side
Peugeot 208 GTi, front
Peugeot 208 GTi, front
Peugeot 208 GTi, front
Peugeot 208 GTi, side
Peugeot 208 GTi, interior
Peugeot 208 GTi, rear
Peugeot 208 GTi, rear
Peugeot 208 GTi, interior

IF you're looking to spice up your life and add a little adventure into the mix then the dynamic Peugeot 208 GTi hot hatch could be the perfect solution.

It's fiery, beautifully compact, oozes character and is very, very fast. In fact the 1.6-litre 208bhp petrol engine fires the hatchback from 0-62mph in just 6.5 seconds with a top speed that redlines at 143mph.

The vehicle is priced at £22,900 (£24,050 with options fitted) so it's not exactly a cheap option, but you do get a car that will be the envy of any driving purists out there.

On the economy side of things, official figures show the 208 GTi can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 52.3mpg (I saw closer to 40mpg) with carbon emissions of 125g/km.

But in all honesty, anyone splashing out on this car is going to be far more interested in performance rather than watching the pennies.

This particular 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport model is only available in three-door format and it boasts plenty of eye-catching design cues, including 18-inch matt black alloys, matt black door mirrors, a unique GTi grille with chequered flag and matt black grille surround, matt black wheel extensions (there's definitely a matt black theme going on here), double chrome exhaust pipes, red front brake callipers with Peugeot Sport badging, grey rear brake callipers and lots of GTi by Peugeot Sport badging.

Step inside and the low slung Alcantara sports seats are neatly designed and finished off with smart red stitching with that Peugeot Sport branding.

There are even specially designed carpet mats for the vehicle, along with a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with GTi badging. There is red trim adorning the doors and instrumentation along with shiny metal pedals to complete the sporty appearance.

Techno treats are plentiful and include lots of in-car infotainment systems. There is a multifunction colour touchscreen that allows you to connect to smartphones

. In addition, there is sat nav, a great audio system, a DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning and lots more besides.

But sometimes it's the set-ups that aren't quite so visible that can transform a car and that's the case with this sizzling hot hatch.

It certainly looks the business both inside and out, but the hidden adjustments are responsible for such a sensational driving experience. For example, the ride height has been lowered by 10mm, the front and rear track widths are wider, the ESP and anti-skid set-up has been adjusted to make them less intrusive and to offer additional traction, the suspension has been revised - all these factors improve the cars handling capabilities.

On motorways, the car easily keeps pace with the fastest moving traffic but you will need to crank up the volume on the sound system to drown out the engine, road surface and wind noise that filters through into the cabin.

But in reality, it's the quieter, open roads with testing curves and bends that are the perfect testing ground for this car.

The acceleration through the six-speed manual gearbox is very responsive and that lower centre of gravity means the car is super-grippy no matter how enthusiastically it's thrown into bends. Admittedly, it's bumpy and not for the faint-hearted, but just one look in this car's direction will prove it's no Driving Miss Daisy vehicle.

FAST FACTS

Peugeot 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport

Price:£22,900

Mechanical:208bhp, 1,598cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:143mph

0-62mph:6.5 seconds

Combined MPG:52.3

Insurance Group: 33

C02 emissions:125g/km

Bik rating:24%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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