This post is all about a car that, in my opinion, should already exist. A car that, with little more than a bit of extra parts sharing could well exist, and a car that I think could bring a lot to the table should it ever be made.
The basis for this car would be one of three mechanically identical cars – Citroen’s C1, the Peugeot 108 or Toyota’s Aygo. These cars are so common on UK roads that for most people they’d never get a second glance, and yet that’s what I find so interesting about them – people seem blind to their potential.
Here you have a trio of well-designed cars that offer economical, practical and safe motoring on a tight budget. Mechanically they’re also impressive, with reliability to embarrass most vehicles on the road.
They drive well too, particularly with the 82 horsepower 1.2 litre PSA engine that debuted on the second generation cars (not available in the Aygo). The suspension rolls just enough to let you realise when you’re asking too much from the car and you have to be really, really trying to experience understeer.
With just 800kg to hustle they’re also light on all consumables and if you’re reading under 40mpg then you, my friend, are driving like a psycho.
Anyway, back to the point of this post. I think that offering these cars with just two choices of engine is a mistake, and the opportunity to build a faster, meaner version should be explored.
I can’t help but think that the 1.2 litre turbocharged 3-cylinder PSA engine, as found in the Peugeot 208, 308 and Citroen C3, C4 and DS models, could be shoehorned under the Citroen’s puny little bonnet.
After all, it’s basically a blown version of the 82hp 1.2 litre engine that’s already an option on the Citroen and Peugeots, and offers either 110 or 130ps as standard. Pair that to a meatier gearbox with shorter ratios, and a lower, stiffer chassis and you’d have a recipe for a junior hot hatch similar to those we still pine after.
Apparently, VW is about to launch an Up GTI. Well, here’s your chance Peugeot/Citroen, the 108 XS – the C1 VTR, hell it could even be the Aygo T-Sport. Just make it already.