Peugeot launches the hot GTi version of its 207 supermini early this summer to take on the Renault Clio Renaultsport 197.
Although the Peugeot is 20bhp less powerful at 175bhp, it's only 0.2sec slower from 0-62mph, with a time of 7.1sec, and will cost from less than £15,000 - at least £1000 cheaper than the Renault.
A top speed of 138mph beats the Renault by 4mph, while, more usefully, it's also significantly more economical. The 1.6-litre engine returns 39.2mpg on the combined cycle compared with the Clio's 33.6mpg, even though the GTi is fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox and not a six-speed affair as in the Renault.
While exact prices are yet to be confirmed, company car drivers will pay far less in tax, too. The Peugeot slots into the 22% tax band, while the Clio Renaultsport is in the 26% bracket.
Suspension settings, brakes and steering are all upgraded for sportier driving, and stability control is standard.
A roof spoiler, special 17-inch alloy wheels, trapezoidal exhaust, tinted windows and chrome door mirrors all set the GTi apart from other models in the range.
The cabin has four buckets seats in the cabin, lined with Alcantara in the front, and there are six airbags to minimise injuries in the event of a collision.
Other standard equipment includes reversing sensors, cruise control and automatic headlights and wipers, but air-conditioning could be an option on the sub-£15,000 version.
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