In 1999, French automaker Peugeot jumped into the "hot hatch" segment with the 206 GTi. With some engine and suspension modifications, Peugeot transformed a workaday economy hatchback into a stunning performer which drew raves from auto enthusiasts.
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1999 206 GTi
Peugeot transformed the 206 into the 206 GTi by dropping a 2.0L, double overhead cam (DOHC), four-valve-per-cylinder, all-alloy engine under the bonnet. Its output was a relatively modest 137 horsepower, but in a car that weighed only 1050kg., this powerplant delivered a 0 to 62mph run of 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. A rear torsion bar trailing arm suspension gave the 206 GTi terrific handling in the curves.
2003 206 GTi 180
Peugeot boosted horsepower to 180 in the 2003 206 GTi 180. Delivering power through a five-speed manual gearbox, the 180 reached 62mph in 7.4 seconds. Its top speed clocked at 140mph. The 180's suspension featured anti-roll bars in the front and rear, MacPherson struts and coil springs in the front, and transverse torsion bars, coil springs, and trailing arms in the rear.
The 206 GTi has never been sold in the United States, where Peugeot has lacked a dealer presence since the 1980s. Right- and left-hand drive models sold in many other countries.
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