Apart from hot hatches, Peugeot considers introducing the GTi badge on their crossovers, with the Dakar-winning 2008 leading the way.
Asked by AutoExpress about beefed up version of the Lion’s existing SUVs coming our way, Peugeot Sport Director, Bruno Famin, answered:
“Why not? The 2008 DKR is fully in the brand’s strategy. Cross-country races like the Dakar are getting bigger, and we are winning them. The 2008 is our world car. Having this cross-country program fits very well with where we want to develop our brand. Doing it with the 2008 is also a way to promote this SUV and to give it a better image.“
Giving the 2008 GTi the thumbs up means that it would build on the success of the208 GTi and 308 GTi, with a more aggressive body kit comprising of chunky bumpers on both ends and flared wheel arches, joined by large alloy wheels. Power should come from a petrol turbo engine, mated to a manual gearbox, and despite the extra punch, Peugeot has no plans on offering four-wheel drive, even as an option.
“The 2008 is two-wheel drive. It’s a way to show the customer that it can be as good as four-wheel drive in may conditions. After transferring the knowhow from the Dakar car into the standard models, we will make it work – everything we learn will one day be in our road cars“, Famin tells.
Peugeot was the big winner at this year’s Dakar rally, with Stephane Peterhansel behind the wheel and Jean-Paul Cottret riding shotgun. Out of the four 2008 DKRs entered into the famed event, three managed to reach the finish line. Of course, the racers are prototypes sharing nothing with the production car except for the badge, but that’s how marketing works.
A month after the Dakar rally ended, Peugeot introduced a facelifted version of the 2008, with minor design tweaks that count the brand’s new grille and Ultimate Red color, joining the palette, along with upgraded tech inside and Grip Control, a stability system with five different modes that count Standard, Snow, All-Terrain, Sand and ESP Off.