Peugeot will present two expressions of the Marque’s upmarket trend in the supermini segment. These concept cars interpret the generation leap already defined by the 208 but in different contexts. The XY Concept is intended for city dwellers who love distinction and refinement, whereas the GTi Concept re-generates an iconic legend.
The LED headlamp design gives these concept cars the impression of having an iris. The rectangular headlamp units, when used on main beam, appear to have a ‘feline pupil’ … a technological and precise expression that is fully identifiable with the lion Marque.
This precision continues with the integrated style components adorning the bodywork. Wheel arches have wing extensions, and bodywork with sills enhance the stance.
GTi Concept: The re-generation of a legendary icon
Instantly characterised by being the performance icon of the 208, the 208 GTi concept features chequered-flag motifs that embellish the metal mesh of the grille, and the lower bar proudly affirms its origin by displaying the French ‘Le Tricolour’ flag or the Union Jack when in the UK.
Other distinctive exterior features include: double chromed exhaust tailpipes, aero lower bodywork spoilers and lower sill skirt extensions that all capture the signature badging. Placed within the grille is the brushed aluminium GTi Concept logo that can also be found on the rear quarter panels, as a salute to its illustrious predecessor – the legendary 205 GTi.
On the inside, the passenger compartment is a true GTi environment, with a characteristic sports leather stitched steering wheel, the treatment of which is replicated on the sides of the gear lever, double stitching in the seats and enhanced with LED backlighting to the surrounds of the high-tech instruments. The sports seats are trimmed with Nappa leather on the outer section, and cloth in the centre with an embossed tartan motif, and a leather head restraint.
The red perforated leather steering wheel continues the check motif, and has a pronounced lower flat section, which carries the GTi Concept logo set in an aluminium ring. To complete the sports interior, the fascia capping is dressed in Alcantara with grey stitching, the roof lining is entirely black and the pedals are aluminium. The centre console architecture and ventilation vents all feature a graduated red to black effect, and the chequered-flag theme is also present on the aluminium door crossbars.
The GTi Concept takes its propulsion from the powerfully-compact RCZ THP 200 engine. Combined with a six-speed manual gearbox, the 1.6-litre THP engine puts its driver at the controls of a machine that captivates the potential for a great driving experience. Like all 208s, a small steering wheel greets the driver and with the GTi Concept, this accentuates the dynamic capability of this car with the enhanced power available. With the raised instrument panel in line of sight, the information is clearly visible from the dials that have a brushed aluminium background and very precise graduations.
The GTi Concept also benefits from the improvements that characterize the 208, taking full advantage of its compactness and lightness, delivering road-holding that is both excellent and precise. To enhance the dynamic experience, it has a 36mm wider track, at the front and at the rear, and a rear roof spoiler to generate down force at speed. For optimum braking performance, the GTi Concept is equipped with four discs; 302mm diameter at the front and 249mm at the rear, set off by red-painted brake calipers.
XY Concept: Urban chic
Powered by a 1.6-litre e-HDi engine, developing 86kW and equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox the XY Concept transports its occupants in a refined environment, with a Crimson colour treatment applied to exterior bodywork and the decorated interior.
Special ‘Pulsion’ paintwork means the XY Concept appears to constantly change, depending on the distance and the position from which it is viewed. This ability to transform is the result of an exclusive method, based on the very precise application of sixteen coats of paint and lacquer.
The passenger compartment is trimmed with crimson stitched leather on the dashboard, armrests, steering wheel rings, gear lever gaiter and sides, and with stripes on seat inserts and floor mats, while the panoramic glass roof is edge-trimmed in black leather.
Pearly grey leather pleated seats feature five metal rings, which pinch and tighten the material. This precision in the working of the material continues with an exclusive steering wheel in leather, with crimson micro-stripes with a chrome insert in the lower section. Bathed in the natural light provided by the panoramic glass roof, with white ambiance lighting, the finishing touches to the interior add a ‘gunmetal’ aesthetic treatment to the door crossbars, steering wheel decorations and vent trims.
The XY Concept rides on exclusive dual-effect 18” allow wheels complementing its ‘Pulsion’ colour and special detailing with coloured chrome decorating the panoramic glass roof trim. The lower window edge and the quarter panel are finished off with a special grille treatment with three horizontal chrome bars.
The new 208 will be launching in New Zealand in September 2012 and we are in discussions now with the factory about securing the stunning New 208 GTi for production and expect to see a vehicle for sale in NZ in early 2013. We understand the first 208 GTI concept vehicle will be unveiled to the public at the Geneva Motorshow next month.
Expectations are that this New 208 GTi will more than deliver on meeting the high benchmarks set by its predecessors the 205, 206 and 207 GTi and will again become the benchmark for stylish performance hot hatches. In fact, the news has us wondering if Peugeot will rekindle its interest in the WRC rounds.