When it comes to sporty hatchbacks, the Peugeot 205 GTi pretty much set a new benchmark and defined want it meant to pack a real punch in a small package. And the good news for fans is that the 2013 Peugeot 208 GTi is expected to continue the legacy in super style – the automaker has promised that the original 205’s fingerprints will be all over the 208 when it lands in March.
However, the 208 GTi sadly won’t be alone in its quest to swallow up the hot hatch market, as there’s also the 2013 Ford Focus ST to factor in – a car that’s already proved to be a massive smash hit. The question therefore is – on paper at least, is there a clear winner between the two?
Summed up in the simplest possible terms, the 208 GTi is much more of a refined and tamed beast by way of looks alone, while the 2013 Focus ST takes things right over the top and almost knocks on the door of midlife-crisis when the neon paint-jobs are factored in. Both look aggressive enough to tell the world the driver’s a bit of a character, but the 208 GTi takes the points by doing so in a more flattering way.
The 2013 Ford Focus ST is capable of 154MPH and takes care of zero to 60MPH in 6.5 seconds. The 208 GTi on the other hand we’re told will hit highs of 140MPH and go from zero to 60MPH in 6.8 seconds – pretty much too close to call, therefore. Handling-wise we’ll of course have to see, but it has to be said that the standard Peugeot 208 isn’t the best when it comes to handling, so if points have to be awarded on the basis of assumptions, the 2013 Focus ST wins this round.
Not that most go out looking for a hot hatch with saving the planet in mind, but if doing so comes as a bonus then why the heck not? The call is a tough one to make as information is limited in terms of the 208 GTi, though we’re told its fuel-economy and CO2 output will indeed trump the Focus ST. Again going on assumptions therefore, the 208 GTi wins.
In a nutshell, the 2013 Focus ST base trim comes in at £18,033 and a slightly upped ante at £19,283 delivers some amazing additional extras. The Peugeot 208 GTi on the other hand is to be offered in a single £18,995 version with no optional extras and not quite as many toys as the base-model Focus St As such, value points go to the Focus ST…just.
Overall, the Peugeot 208 GTi is looking every bit as solid and impressive as we’d hoped, but chances are it won’t be able to usurp the market-leading Focus ST from the front of the pack. In terms of what we know so far, the 2013 Focus ST is faster, cheaper and delivers more bang for buck – hence takes the prize.