I’m not a huge fan of electronic power steering because it just doesn’t have the same ‘feel’ as a conventional set up. You lose some of the feedback between the road and the steering wheel, which is so important in a lively little car like the 208 GTi.
What it does ensure in the 208 is that the car is refined and comfortable at low speed – before you blip the accelerator and unleash 200bhp of road-going entertainment.
Then the electric power steering does kill some of the enjoyment but not so much as to prove a major disappointment. It’s that fine balance between refinement and thrills that every designer of a hot hatchback must struggle with.
Make no mistake, Peugeot’s latest GTi is an absolute joy to drive on a winding A-road. It’s agile, nimble and very quick. However, lose the electronic power steering and it could be a legendary performer, just like the original 205 it reminds me so much of.