The next-generation Peugeot 208 GTi will be offered in petrol and pure EV form when it’s unveiled in 2019, Carbuyer understands. It’s expected that the the all-new Peugeot 208 will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next spring; our exclusive images show what the forthcoming hot hatch could look like when it arrives.
A Peugeot 208 EV has been expected since parent firm PSA announced that its switch to a new CMP (Common Modular Platform) would include an electric-ready version called e-CMP. These mechanical underpinnings will be found in all future models, offering better efficiency, lower build costs and the scope for EV variants. Peugeot boss Jean-Pierre Imparato has suggested that the electric 208 could also be offered as a GTi, previewed in our exclusive images.
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Speaking exclusively to Carbuyer, Imparato said: “I’ll reveal this in full in March, but I don’t want the future to be boring. My message will be that each time I launch a new car, it will be electrified, but you will buy your Peugeot and you will choose your powertrain.
“When you buy a Peugeot you will find design, the latest version of i-Cockpit, the upmarket trim levels like GT-Line, GT and perhaps GTi, because I don’t want to generate any difference between EV and combustion-engined models, but the customer will choose the powertrain.”
Imparato also said that Peugeot Sport – the performance arm of Peugeot – has turned its focus to developing sporty electrified models. A 300bhp hybrid version of the Peugeot 3008 SUV is on the way, with concepts like the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid demonstrating the technology.
“I have the high-market mix [GT and GT-Line], including the high-performance versions,” Imparato said. “So at the moment we are working on that. I will not hide that it is not so easy because we are facing the 2020 threshold [the EU’s CO2 emissions targets for makers].
“But my friends from motorsport are working on some projects to make our customers happy with something that is high-performance and at the same time compliant with the rules. As I said, I don’t want the future to be boring.”
Asked if that was a direct reference to high-performance electrified vehicles, Imparato said: “Yes. In the coming 10 years the power will be easy to achieve with electric. It will not be a premium marker any more; premium brands will have to find something else if they want to be different, because electrification opens up, for us top mainstream guys, the opportunity to enter some new segments. I will be able to put on the market cars with 400kW (536bhp) of power. That changes everything.”
Imparato believes that offering the Peugeot 208 with a range of powertrains is more important than offering standalone EVs in the range: “The rhythm of the transition [towards electrification] will not be the same across the regions,” he said. “The guys in Paris will be electric, the guys who do 100,000 miles per year will be diesel and the average guy will be in petrol. But they’ll be in the same [Peugeot] 208.
“I want the same driving experience for anyone driving my cars. So I will not build a specific electric vehicle; it will not be like a Renault ZOE.”