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There's a moment, just as your throttle-prod lifts its engine revs above idle, when this Peugeot's exhaust issues a ghostly note from the past. That's when it sounds like a 205 GTI - and when those familiar with its ancestor might feel a faint anticipatory frisson.

Peugeot goes out of its way to say that the 208 GTI is not, and cannot be, a 21st century replay of its ""˜80s classic, while liberally referencing one of the greatest GTIs of them all. Instead, the unspoken message is that this is a much better Peugeot GTI than the 206 and 207 that have come in between, that the 208 GTI recaptures some of the spirit of the original while serving it with the sanitising shot of refinement, quality, convenience and safety that a car of today must provide.

But at heart, the package remains the same ""“ a potent engine in small body, subtly honed to maximise driver entertainment. To see how effective it is, we're driving the 208 GTI on Welsh roads that 25 years ago, would have been the scene of many a showdown between the 205 GTI and its rival the Golf, and all those GTI pretenders besides.

Read the full review here:
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