Driving a 206 Gti at the moment..
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Driving a 206 Gti at the moment..

    as a work car. It's better than I remember it to be. But the engine just aint powerful enough.
    Peugeot are a frustrating lot. Is it every 10 years they build a good engine, with rubbish in between? God they keep chopping and changing their motors. For little gain.
    After the Mi16 1.9, motors were crap(or to be more polite, pedestrian) until the GTi6/Xsara VTR motor. Why they didn't put this one into the 406 sedan and coupe is beyond me, instead of that dull 2.0 and the uninspiring V6. The Xantia Activa cried out for it, but at best it got the Low pressure Turbo (not bad, but whats wrong with high pressure).
    The current 206 Gti is let down by its motor. Good car to drive, but it's better than its breathless torqueless 100 kw engine. The 180bhp thing will be good, but it will be expensive, and it's NOT HERE YET.
    It's a funny company. They make the prettiest race/rally car going round, the Xsara, so why don't they release a WIDE BODY high power rally version. No offense Xsara owners, but with a bit of work the car can be more than what it is. It could be stunning. Give it 160 kw, make it scream. I think the French engineers are miles more capable than the German ones, but when it comes to decisions made by the marketing department the Germans are so superior it's not funny. Not everyone wants to drive some screamer, but the car business is all about image. And PSA needs a better one. For Peugeot the only thing missing is some interesting models. Even Holden has a bash in this direction(re:300 or so kw Monaro).Fancy people wanting a 3 series BMW for $60000 (with a couple of overpriced options). What a joke. Yet the 406 can't sell for $40 something. Doesn't sell. Dead in the water. The Saab 93 outsells it in Oz by a mile. And it is truly crap.
    But what's desirable about a 406 except to the converted. Acid test for me is that I can drive one if I want, but choose not to. It's a jolly good car, but what by association can a 406 buyer lust after. A V6? 152 nowhere kilowatts. Is there an 'I.S.' version or a decent 3 litre, or an M3. Nope. Underdevelopment of a good basic car. 406 Coupe: Stunning to look at. Quite nice to drive. Nothings changed for 5 years! What is there to tempt someone from a 330 Coupe. What's wrong with 210 kw 4wd? Make the Coupe go out with a bang. This company makes 2 million cars a year, so they have the money. What do they do with it? Sit on their hands and count it. They are so busy patting themselves on the back because the PSA (Pug+ Citroen) group is growing, but this is all because of Citroen small cars. If Peugeot made SOME interesting cars, just what would they do to BMW and ALFA. Just have to look back to the impact of the 405 on the other marques. It was huge.
    My rambling point is this. I want to (sell and) drive interesting FRENCH cars. Peugeot is so close, but not close enough, and I think if they threw a bit more money in a certain direction they could really start to make an impact outside of Europe. Peugeot nowadays makes a good allrounder/sporting style of car. Nobody does it better. I love what these cars ALMOST do, and stand for. But as a Peugeot salesman and driver I'm frustrated. I really really like the cars, but the lust thing is missing. Is this not a view reflective of the wider market.

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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    i agree with a lot of your comments,,,personally i believe a lot of the manufacturers are just not aware of what is trully out there. in regards to the available markets...the holden monaro is a perfect example of contemporary thinking,,,i would go even further as to recomend total remanufacturing of some models (no i m not talking retro beetle or mini)i mean...how cool would it be to be able to buy lets say the ds23 brand new; everything original and new (with possibly a new engine)or at least the shell..another one i would like to see is the original 205 t16 bareshelled road version..no gimicks no modern luxuries...just the shell,the engine and aluminium trim...it would be sensational...and why cant they ever learn from other manufacturers...look at Subaru and its wrx...they took the risk why can t the pugs cits and rens do the same...just imagine it a wide bodied (a la 405 style coupe t16)406 with 4wd,turboed and very very bare...people would be queing up for it...thats what i think anyway....
    instead so many out there are left with jap imports that deliver as much driving pleasure as...as...as...i wont say...
    BRING ON THE GTR VERSIONS OF THE PUGS CITS AND RENS and watch big Ms amgees ponnies and bulls melt away...

    ps... there are so many classics out there and there is a reason for this ...why the manufacturers dont see this is beyond me....

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    dino:
    i would go even further as to recomend total remanufacturing of some models (no i m not talking retro beetle or mini)i mean...how cool would it be to be able to buy lets say the ds23 brand new; everything original and new (with possibly a new engine)or at least the shell..
    It'd never pass current safety rules and regulations for a start...
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  4. #4
    nJm
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    Quite a few magazines AND members of the public cried in both anger and sadness when Peugeot said it would not be making its amazing RC 'diamands' and 'spades'. In the UK you had people interested by the concept of a diesel performance car - speed and fuel economy, and out here people interested in the fantastic looks of the two little cars. It would be a start in the right direction. Also, that 400hp 607 concept while nice isn't going to be a seller if it was ever made. No one would pay over $100,000 for a pug (well, assuming it would cost that much). What would be better is if Peugeot create a performance 406 (and 407). The 505 GTi and 405 Mi16 were popular for their performance car handling but both lacked power. The 405 T16 made up for it but the car was available only in limited numbers. What Peugeot/Citroen need is a Volvo S60R competitor

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    <small>[ 27 December 2002, 07:48 PM: Message edited by: nJm ]</small>
    Nick
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    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

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    I couldn't agree more.
    Peugeot and Citroen have two of the hottest WRC cars on the planet and do jack s..t about geting something in a similar vein out to the public.
    Pox Ralley editions don't count.
    Some of the most popular cars in history made their name on the rally scene(Mini, Escort, WRX). The market is there.
    I once posted a similar comment on a yahoo peugeot group site and was shot down in flames.
    I want a hot new pug but there is nothing.
    sleepy

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    not true....a totally remanufactured car would be fully approved.....there are a few examples out there already.....not to mention the kit cars like the mg td 2000 the eurekas ac cobras etc...etc...etc...hell i would not mind if they came in kit form (lets say 70% assambled)....besides most crash safety reg...can be implemented via chassis design changes...and if necessary i m sure citroen could put an air bag into the original style wheel....
    again...tell mde that a lancia delta integrale....even in disaasebled form would not sellllll...hell they would...and i d be first in line,,,

    sadly there are so many cars (new) out there that could not even match the safety of some early 60 europens....ie via the braking quality let alone handling....drive the hyndai excel and tell me just of the top of your head how many 30 year old cars are nicer to drive and much safer...u dont even have to count the frogs....as most of them are better going back 40 years....

    we should not let safety features strip the cars of any soul which the french cars are renowned for....

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    <span><span class=ResizableText0>
    Originally</span> posted by Europa: <span class=ResizableText0><strong>
    Originally</span> posted by dino:
    <strong>i would go even further as to recomend total <span class=ResizableText0>remanufacturing</span> of some models (no i m not talking retro beetle or mini)i <span class=ResizableText0>mean...how</span> cool would it be to be able to buy lets say the ds23 brand new; <span class=ResizableText0>everything</span> original and new (with possibly a new engine)or at least the <span class=ResizableText0>shell..
    It'd</span> never pass current safety rules and <span class=ResizableText0>regulations</span> for a <span class=ResizableText0>start...
    </span> </span>
    They did this very thing with the Z car in the USA, the original was completely remanufactured not too long ago.
    AS far as exciting cars here is some that the french did get right, but the aussie market didn't get, Renault 5Gtt 1.3 Turbo on a 800Kg hatch, just ask any one from the uk about this little tarmac terror, shame about the salt. Peugeot 405 4x4 Turbo, used as lethal cop cars, they made only a few though. Renault Clio V6 and original Clio Williams both modern classics in thier own right!! Citroen Saxo VTS a REAL super mini, and they turbo real easy too!! ( same as the 106 Gti pug)
    . Also non frog mentions such as cossies, Punto GT's, Seat turbo's etc.
    Why can't we get these cars, has been long fought, but if the frenchies bring out a road car to rival (in terms of same drive train and aplication>price) either the WRX or the E46 M3, then look out baby!!
    Xq
    ps atleast if the french bring out a WRX like car it wont be so damm UGLY!, even a little.lol
    ... ptui!

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    I have dreamed of a modernised/remanufactured 1972 Alfa GTV (before I was married anyway). Is there something car companies could learn by looking at this car. Granted it would weigh 200 kg's more now with the antipollution stuff and ABS'airbags etc. What happened to sports cars?Why do RWD cars have to be big? Why am I here?
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  9. #9
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    Is there a reason why Peugeot seems to be scared of building a turbo car? None of the current normally aspirated engines are that inspiring - competent at best. You have various shopping trolley to reasonable engines from a 1.0 to 2.2, then the 3.0 V6. Turbocharging is a good, and economical way of increasing performance.

    Things like the 405 T16 are long gone.

    A problem is - are people prepared to pay that much for a peppy Pug? If PSA were able to sell in the USA, that'd make the viability of such a model much better.

    Unfortunately, French cars in the US have a terrible reputation - believe me, trying to argue the virtues of a French car on an aviation forum to Americans is not easy!

    If they are to build such a car - they need the quality to boot. No matter how fast or competent it is - if it costs good money, it has to feel well screwed together.

    The RC Diamond & Spades are beautiful! If you want Peugeot to be classier and more upmarket - that's a good tool to start with.

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    In my view Justin at least as it pertains to BMW, quality is not a pre-requisite for success in the USA. They DO sell American cars there after all.
    Image, perceived quality and back-up are. I dont think out Bavarian friends make particularly reliable cars at all(in my experience), but the back-up and percieved quality of the service is great. There is a cost to pay for this and people gladly do with a BMW, because the image is there in the first place.
    I think people will pay money for spectacular pugs. Maybe a few at a time. Numbers will increase over time. But jeez, look what Subaru have managed to do(bexause of the WRX. (granted they have a great name for reliability too.)
    And our old friends Alfa(mine anyway).... Can any car have a worse reputation? Yet look at the 156 vs. the 406. The 156 had Stacks of pre-orders, and sales haven't slowed yet. It's a great car, and the driving is lovely. But the cars still have problems (getting sorted out, but that's perenially the case). It's image that is half the reason the car sold (the other half is, it is exciting to drive). If Peugeot wanna make shopping baskets (not saying they do)they will be overwhelmed by Toyota, but they can do things much better than Toyota from a drive point of view, so let's see an injection of excitement into the range.
    I think, and I have no idea really, that the French themselves have an International image problem. I believe that the French think that because it is French the world will see their product as sophisticated and sexy. Whereas I think your average Aussie for example who may not know anything about France says 'the French:they're arrogant'. They're not taken seriously against the Germans. They think the world realises they're good engineers. But I don't think the world(outside of Europe) thinks they're much chop at all. There are some sort of weirdo connotations still attached to the names of French products. Shame really, because the converted know they are good.
    When I was flogging pugs back in 95 the grand plan was from 3000 cars or so per year at the time, we would be up to 10000 by year 2000. Dunno what the figures are for this year but 4000 would probably cover it. Nothing has changed. Our beloved's are produced by a company that needs a king size kick up the arse.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  11. #11
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    Warwick,

    I hope you realise that NO OTHER manufacturer in Australia has had such a HUGE increase in sales other than, yours truly, Peugeot! 6000 sales expected this year, increased to 6500. RECORD SALES!!!

    Up 97% on 2001!

    406s may not sell like hot cakes, but you can't complain about 307s and 206s.

    Agreed on the international perception. In Europe, your Pugs, Renaults & Cits are basically everyday affordable cars. There is awareness over there.

    There are good engineers out there, but there is almost a Lada like baggage attached to French cars in the US (granted the French haven't been great friends of the Americans and it goes both ways). Peugeot has proven with some of its models that you don't need to pay through the nose to get a superbly sorted out chassis. There is a little oddball baggage in Australia, but it's definately waning - just look at the people going out in current Pugs, from all walks of life.

    Back up is important when you sell prestige cars, and I believe a poor sales network hurt Peugeot in the US too. All I have to do is compare the treatment I get at our Volvo dealer compared to our Peugeot dealer. It's like dining at a 5 star hotel vs the local fish & chip shop. Facilities are pretty ordinary, but the service can be good. But, you're not paying much less at Peugeot.

    If you spend 85k on a 607, you feel short changed compared to what some other marques are giving - you certainly don't pay through the nose to get the service an S80 driver gets. At the same time, when you're selling cars from 20k to 80k, with far more down the lower price end, the service would not be as flash as from the best Euro dealers. The average price on a new BMW or Volvo is a lot higher than that of the average Peugeot - in spite of that, you are still getting a prestige car, and the service should be better than that of a Holden - there's no need to treat all as if they are the lowest common denominator. I think a Peugeot is a special car, and the ownership experience should reflect that.

    At the same time, not all the prestige dealers are great. For instance we have friends whose Merc dealers are fairly ordinary. I know a certain VW dealer that isn't crash hot either, and I find dealers which sell standard cars (ie. the Fords, Holdens, Toyotas) often don't have that special touch, and that mass market 'dot on the screeen, just a number' attitude rubs off on their other marques they service. There are some good Holden dealers out there of course - I know one which offers customers breakfast and business facilities.

    More dealers should take their French marques more seriously. Kellow Falkiner bunched Peugeot with their used cars section, as did GWS with Renault - makes the cars seem second tier. What Bayford has done with City Peugeot is a good sign. I can't comment on the service there, but the facilities are good, which gives confidence out there to customers and reinforces a sense of professionalism.

    BMW quality is certainly better than it used to be. Peugeot quality is too, but if you're paying good money for a Peugeot, you don't get that same feel that you would get from other marques. Running a 307 website, you do get to hear about how cars around the world are coping. Fortunately the recent build cars are much more reliable, but there's still an interior panel gap which is poor on every single 307 I have seen. Various interior gaps are still inconsistent.

    When you have friends in the car, what do they notice? A good car will feel comfortable, be refined and feel solid. When you shut the door, use the switchgear, hear no rattles - all these things add to perceived quality. Slam the door on a Golf, then do so on a 307, it's little wonder the Golf has such a great reputation as a solid, if stolid, little car. On the basis of the things people notice directly related to quality, like slamming doors and using switchgear - the French cars aren't quite there yet. Some of you might think it's funny, but the thunk you get from slamming the door gives a real impression of solidty (or not) - there are engineers out there dedicated to engineering the right thunk. New Corolla is lighter than the previous model, but the doors make it feel like a far more solid car - believe me, such a simple action of shutting the door gives people quite an impression on a cars quality. In most cases, the perception reflects the reality. As a friend said to me in the S60 - it feels like you're sitting in a bank vault.

    Audi is a marque in Australia that has had quite a successful transformation over the past decade or so. Go back to 1989 and see where they were compared to now. Subaru is another which has done well, and actually I'd argue that the quality of their cars isn't as good as some of the competition, despite how well they used to do in Wheels Quality tests many years back.

    One final point, despite all its flaws, PSA is doing very well financially compared to other manufacturers.

    Cheers,

    Justin

    Peugeot 307 XS 1.6
    Aussiefrogged in MEL, PER, SYD, BNE & ADL.
    Rendezvous Adelaide 2005

  12. #12
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    6500. Well I should wash my mouth out. Teach me to speak without knowing. I had no idea it was that many.
    I agree with whay you say, except I would guess that Citroen has probably grown more.(from a much lower base)
    The dealer network is being revamped with Peugeot. Sometimes for better sometimes for worse, but definitely in a prestige direction. Everyone is under revue. Dealers with money are being appointed as some of the old guard are being diced out. And this means losing some of the enthusiastic knowledgable small dealers. There is more potential for growth this way, but good people are being lost along the way. Guess this is inevitable
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  13. #13
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    Warwick, your initial post had so many debates in it i dont know where to start .
    I think u are being a little harsh on old peugeot
    as it was only a short time ago they were on the bones of their bums [then came 205] and now they
    are selling 2 mil. and WITHOUT the usa.
    My point is.. they must be doing something right to get 2 million ppl into cars that were perceived
    to be only for uni. students and or beatniks.
    I think they are in "steady as she goes mode" and dont want to go the mazda way..built too many niche cars [nice ones too!] that didnt sell in great numbers [e.g. rx7 series vi]
    Final point..I DONT WANT THEM TO SELL LOTS OF CARS IN OZ as i like being different/unique and not in the COMMONDORE dime a dozen genre
    cheers jr
    jr20516v

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  14. #14
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    good points Warwick, I know I'm running out of options in the French car brigade to aspire too. Peugeot is in need of a hero car, actually it needs loads of hero cars in each sector. Not a handful of petrol engines across the board...1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and V6...
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Europa's Avatar
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    Europa:
    It'd never pass current safety rules and regulations for a start...
    I admit I was thinking of volume cars, not low-run specials, which I think have an exemption to a lot of safety regulations.

    I'd imagine re-engineering a DS23 (setting up panel presses and the like) would be a pretty expensive exercise, I wonder what the final product would cost?

    Would enthusiasts with our budgets be able to afford one, or would we be tempted by a Mercedes instead?
    '05 Pearl Black Mégane 5-Door LXR(Daily Driver), '75 Trak Yellow R16TSA (Parts Car), '74 Midnight Blue R17TS (Rebuilding), '73 457 Blue R17TL (Parts Car), '72 Alpine White R16TL (Retired), '69 Sunburst Brown R16TS (Awaiting Rebuild), '68 "Appliance White" Europa (Stored)

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    if PSA came out with a 406 t16 4x4 I would pay up to $50k for it tomorrow.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    JR20516v
    It is evident that the company is doing ok, and I think that the economies of scale that a growing Citroen provides is a large part of this, but not all. If PSA want to concentrate on small 3rd world cheapies and sell just to Europe, to their old colonies and countries not traditionally Japanese buyers, i.e. Africa and South America, pacific islands and the like well and good. But in markets like OZ, Japan, U.S.A., and other parts of Asia they are selling passenger cars and in probably every one of these markets being beaten by expensive BMW(for example) who are nowhere near as big as PSA.
    Why compete with cars like 607, or the excellent but unloved and underdeveloped 406. Give up or do something interesting! They are trying way to hard to be utilitarian, and going nowhere(interesting) in the process.
    Maybe you are right in the sense that they are in steady as she goes mode. The company is growing. And to them that is all that matters. My semi-irrational little hobby-horse is however: whilst they have lost the beatnik/academic omnibus type of image(good riddance), to me they are losing the abilities and positive image they earned in the 80's and 90's as well. In the 80's Peugeot out-Alfa'd Alfa, and look what that did for the company. That sort of thing is what Peugeot does best. By currently rejecting the values that made the company powerful where does this take them.
    But now, ride, handling, and general driving pleasure in my opinion is going out the window in favour of trying to be all things to all people, without image or much style. It's great that the 307 is safer than the golf. But what happens when the new Golf comes soon with equivalent space, better safety, decent engines(not traditionally a Golf strongpoint) but dripping with looks and image. The 306,I feel looked better and drove better than a Golf. The Golf was better made, and this, and only this, was addressed with the design of the 307. But...this will not be the case next time round with the new Golf. You can smell that it will be good.
    PSA is growing, but the Peugeot that I love is disappearing rapidly. I have driven a 307 2.0 last couple of days. It's a very good car, but it's not for me. And it's not for the 80's type of Peugeot buyer. I have felt excited driving 504's, 505's, 205's, 306's and 405's.
    A 206 can be entertaining too, but gee whiz. For mine that's one out of four(current models). Peugeot may go from strength to strength and their quality may improve constantly but it feels as if something significant is being lost along the way. I know how Ray Bell feels, albeit 2 or 3 decades later.
    Two more points. 1. Don't abandon Pininfarina as primary designer and 2. It's nice to drive a car that hardly anyone else drives, but that is not healthy for the company in the long term.

    God, what a ridiculous emotive Tirade. Will post it nonetheless cos it took a while to type.
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    matty:
    if PSA came out with a 406 t16 4x4 I would pay up to $50k for it tomorrow.
    Well is a 405 4x4 turbo good enough!! they got em in the UK, they were used as pursuit cars in France, Peugeot-Eccosse in Scotland has one and they are working it!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Xq

    ps, Warwick, my mate owns a 206 Gti, put an air-pod exhaust/extractors and thats 9Kw extra at the wheels, Esscargo sell all this as a kit and can have the car dyno'd to suit!
    ... ptui!

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    Warwick2:
    1. Don't abandon Pininfarina as primary designer and God, what a ridiculous emotive .
    Too late, but i agree, trully beautifull cars.
    Xq
    ... ptui!

  20. #20
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    Warwick
    Boy have you stirred a drowsy lion.
    I totally agree with the guy who said Peugeot need a "hero" car.
    EG. a 206 WRC lookalike, not necessarily with 4wd, but that would be good but like the R. Clio Williams or Clio mid eng.V6. But with Focus RS equalling power-wallops em on the rallies can wallop em in the sales charts given some of that high powered, over the top Froggy advertisements.
    And before they pension off one of Pinin Farina's finest-406 Coupe, it should be given a hairy chested V6 manual 5 speed, with close ratio box. Given a good induction system, hot chipped, perf. exhaust, and called an "R" spec. Dammit the Pug enthusiasts want such an animal.

    And Warwick, as a 405 Mi16 enthusiast, who is turning one into a low cost Targa rally car, there is quite a following for a roomy, good riding,great handling 4 door sports sedan in NZ. Any nothing has come along since that fits that bill.
    Now that I have had the head polished and ported, new chip in about 2 weeks, and Konis all round and uprated grooved rotors on front brakes I have a car that puts a grin on my face every time I start it up. And I still have the standard non cat exhaust system, although with Simota air filter, it doesnt half sound good, when accelaerating.

    About a hero car, I have driven the R. Clio 172 Sport and that was exhilarating.
    I even suggested last year to the new General Manager of Sime Darby Autos.NZ-new importer of Peugeot vehicles, that they were missing out on the golden marketing opportunity that 206 WRC was presenting them with. He totally agreed.
    Thats my 2 bobs worth now.
    Don
    Mi16freak wink

  21. #21
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    With Pierre Peugeot taking over the reins from his recently departed father, I think we might see some more youthful decisions made for PSA. His Dad said no to the Spades and Diamonds, but with a decent article in this month's CAR on the French manufacturers with a big thumbs given to Peugeot, but a plea to build these cars, perhaps Pierre will reconsider. Someone send him a link to this thread!
    - Lincoln

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