In a drive to boost profits, Peugeot is planning to expand its offerings with high-performance versions of its regular cars. We saw this first with the RCZ R based on the stylish RCZ coupe, and soon we’ll see sporty 308 GTI and 308 R models based on the French automaker’s 308 Golf rival.
After these, the next model to spawn a high-performance offering will be the 208, which already comes in 208 GTI flavor but will eventually have a more potent 208 R variant. That’s a promise Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat made during a recent interview with Automotive News (subscription required).
“Above the 208 GTI, we will soon have an even sportier 208 R, which is a good example of what we would like to add to top the 308 range,” Picat is quoted as saying, confirming the 208 R and reaffirming previous comments made about a potential 308 R.
It’s a successful strategy Volkswagen has executed with its own ‘GTI’ and ‘R’ models based on regular models like the Golf, something Picat is well aware of.
“Moving upmarket with special versions of each model line is not very different from what Volkswagen does with its GTI/GTD variants,” Picat is also quoted as saying.
No details on the 208 R were mentioned, but we would expect it to deliver more than the 197 horsepower and 203 pound-feet of torque that the current 208 GTI is packing. Peugeot is likely to opt for its turbocharged 1.6-liter THP four-cylinder engine fitted to the RCZ R and shown in a previous 308 R concept, although the engine's 270-horsepower rating will likely be detuned for use in the 208 R.
Sadly, we won’t be seeing the cars in the U.S. considering Peugeot's absence here.