2015 Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary edition review

The regular GTi is a handy little hot hatch but the Anniversary Edition (let’s call it AE) is something else again. Peugeot Sport, the company’s racing arm, has been let loose on the little hatch, thrown the keys to the parts bin and given a cheque to buy in premium parts.

For a $6000 premium, you get a seriously quick little car with more power, vastly improved handling, grip, drive and braking and a louder exhaust — then there’s the wild two-tone paint job.

Everything the standard GTi should be, the AE retails for $35,990, about the same price as its main competitor, Renault’s Clio RS 200, a dual-clutch automated manual.

The AE’s six-speed manual is bolted to the same 1.6-litre turbo as in the GTi, tuned for higher outputs — 153kW/ 300Nm as against the GTi’s 147kW/275Nm. The AE cuts a quicker 0-100km/h dash, 6.5 seconds as against the GTi’s 6.8.

Of perhaps greater significance is the adoption of a Torsen limited-slip differential (from Peugeot’s RCZR), which dramatically changes the AE’s drive characteristics. Plant the right foot and it drives out of corners hard without complaint.

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