Peugeot 208 GTi 30thPeugeot has revealed an extremely radical 208hp 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Limited Edition model at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014.

Boasting a mechanical limited-slip front differential, bespoke suspension and steering plus a truly unmissable ‘two-tone’ red and black paint option, the new special edition could mean Peugeot has launched a hot hatch the equal of the legendary 205 GTi.

The 208 GTi 30th Anniversary will be fully showcased at the Paris Motor Show in October, before sales start in November. Here at Goodwood, it’s being shown in action in the Supercar and First Glimpse hill climb runs, plus the Moving Motor Show display arena.

208 GTi 30th Anniversary: dynamic makeover

Peugeot has lowered the suspension by 10mm on the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary, and widened both front and rear track: 22mm at the front, 16mm at the rear. Bigger 18-inch wheels are fitted too. There’s a lower centre of gravity, new suspension geometry that tweaks the camber angle and wheel alignment, plus a set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres.

Encouragingly, Pegueot promises the steering calibration has “been the subject of much development work, both on a track and on the road”: its aim was for greater linearity and to complement the effect of the Torsen limited-slip differential.

Ah, the Torsen diff: this is taken from the RCZ R and gives the special 208 GTi real differentiation in the sector. This, plus reduced front-end roll, gives real dynamic differentiation, says Peugeot: it’s adjusted ESC and traction control to suit too – they are “less intrusive when driving and… allow the Torsen to operate”. Sounds sublime.

Peugeot 208 GTi: outside, inside, against the clock

Peugeot_208_GTi_30th_001

Visually, it’s not just the fancy two-tone colour that helps the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary stand out. The standard car’s chrome has been replaced by black – including the 205-stuyle quarter panels – which stretches to the side skirts and wheel arch extensions too. Outside, as well as within, there’s a 208 GTi 30th logo.

Peugeot calls the radical paint option a ‘coupe tranche’: the rear is painted in an entirely different colour to the front, with a sharp dividing line splitting the two. If you don’t want the standout colour, it’s also offered in white and red.

Inside, those fancy red-to-black panels on the standard car have become lacquered all-black. Gloriously though, red floor mats ape the red carpets of the 205 GTi, while Peugeot Sport front bucket seats are fitted: they, like other areas of the interior, boast lots of subtle red retro detailing.

The 208hp THP engine delivers 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, but also emits just 125g/km CO2. The latter sounds remarkable. Shedding this speed are 323mm front discs with four-pot Brembo calipers.

Without question, the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary is a car to watch with keen interest. The best supermini hot hatch on sale – indeed, the best Peugeot hot hatch ever made? It’s got a high bar to clear but this car looks so special, it may just do it…

Peugeot also revealed it’s sold 10,000 208 GTi since launching it a year ago, “confirming the success of the reinterpretation of the GTi icon”.