A Swiss Peugeot dealer is leaning into the brand’s hot hatch heritage with its own special 208 ‘Rallye’. Might the UK get something similar?
Few car makers come with a more illustrious hot hatchback heritage than Peugeot, and it’s one that a particularly innovative Swiss dealer is leaning into with its own homemade special edition. While Peugeot itself is firmly looking in a forward direction, the Garages-Hotz dealership group in Switzerland has created its own retro ‘Peugeot 208 Rallye’. The car features a range of design elements made famous on the 205, 106 and 306 Rallye models, and something similar could even be on its way to the UK.
After a whirlwind of interest, Auto Express reached out to Peugeot UK who commented: “We’re delighted for the positive reaction to the car and are always proud to celebrate the many icons in our rich heritage. We are looking to see what can be done again in this regard.”
Based on a low-spec 1.2-litre Puretech Peugeot 208 model fitted with a manual transmission, the Swiss Rallye has no mechanical changes except the fitment of a set of white steel wheels inspired by those on the original. Peak power is rated at 99bhp, which, ironically, is the same as the original 106 Rallye. Of course, the engine has to move a body that’s much larger and heavier to the tune of 300kg.
The standard white paint is matched with the multicolour stripes on the sills, front bumper and tailgate, while small ‘Rallye’ decals on the C-pillar and boot lid help reference the iconic livery further. Further graphics on the small front wing and windscreen band carry the ‘Peugeot Talbot Sport’ lettering, referencing the wild factory Peugeot Rally cars that competed in the WRC in the 1980s and ‘90s.
While lots of enthusiasts are being caught up in Peugeot Rallye nostalgia, the brand’s focus is to forge ahead with its PSE performance sub-brand that utilises plug-in hybrid technology. The 508 PSE flagship, which references Peugeot’s 908X Le Mans racer in its design and complex powertrain technology, is currently Peugeot’s only high performance model. Still, there’s no reason why the two performance Peugeot sub-brands couldn’t co-exist.
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