Peugeot 206 GTI

French GTI180s Visit Oz

Simon, a mailing list member works as an aeroplane engineer at an airport in Australia. Today he had this to say:

Whilst busy fixing aeroplanes at work this evening, what did I see? Not 1, but 2 brand new (sparkling) Aegean Blue 206 RCs roll past me on a pallet, inbound from Roissy (via Perth) and off to a photo shoot thingy in Sydney. For those not in the know, this is the much talked about GTi180

Needless to say I grabbed my camera and went rushing after them. Unfortunately it wasn't a digital camera, so the photos may be delayed a little. They were both LHD models. I think the cargo loader thought I was a little weird taking so many photos, but hey, I had to use up the whole roll otherwise it would take even longer to get developed.

I can report that the spare tyre will most definitely be a can of foam - as these 2 cars have the most enormous back box I have ever seen (but I'm not really into exhausts anyway, so there are probably larger ones around).

The suspension looks very similar (as it should) to Van's recent picture of the back of his car, but instead of a spare wheel carrier (which wouldn't have been able to fit a 17" rim anyway) there is a very large muffler running horizontally between the rear wheels. Two short pipes come out of the passenger side of the box and end at a couple of chrome tips.

The mirrors had a very dark carbon fibre look to them, and there was a new plastic grill at the front, in a hexagram pattern. The cars were both locked so I couldn't get any good pictures of the inside (or under the bonnet), but the seat trim looked very nice indeed - and the seats themselves look much better than my MY00 seats. The front 2 seats had "RC" trimmed into them - I wonder if that will be changed to "180" on the RHD models :-)

It's good to see the black instrument dials are back (I've never been a fan of silver dials) with a silver rim around each one. The single enormous hazard light was also there - no central locking button.

I really liked the colour. The blue has the same pearlescant effect as the Diablo Red. I guess you could say it was similar to the Subaru WRC Blue colour - but maybe a little darker.

Update from Simon (10/2/2003):

After emailing a contact from the Peugeot Car Club of NSW, he came up with this explanation for the 206 RCs being in town...

"The cars were also a surprise to Peugeot Automobiles Australia. They had no idea the cars were in the country. After inquiring in France, they found the cars were here for a TV commercial shoot in Sydney next month for Peugeot's advertising agency Euro. The shoot will probably be in a studio or on a set and the commercial will be used in the European launch. It is cheaper to do a commercial here, but it also means a nice holiday in the sun for the advertising agency team at the customer's expense. The local cars will be badged Brit style GTi 180."

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