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  1. Sei que a review é antiga, mas é uma interessante ver a opinião de um dos jornalistas que é conhecido por não gostar de franceses modernos. E é um tanto quanto difícil achar opiniões sobre pugs antigos (X06-X07) na internet. (Me desculpem se postei na área errada) Peugeot 206 GTI I can't believe I've fallen in love with an ugly Pug Jeremy Clarkson Look, can we get one thing clear this morning? Your butcher is no better than my butcher. Your local branch of Morrison’s is no better than my local Tesco and your favourite village in France is no better than my favourite village in France. It’s very rare these days that you find one product that is demonstrably better than its competition: Pepsi and Coke, O2 and Vodaphone, Miyake and Armani, Eton and Harrow, Tory and Labour. And if you do find something that has a clear advantage over its rivals, I’ll wager that there’s something wrong with it. Skiing in America is a classic case in point. Sure, the runs are less busy and more varied than the runs you get in Europe. There are shorter queues too. But don’t think this means you spend less time standing in them. It’s not that Americans won’t fit through the turnstiles, their skiers are actually like twigs: it’s the politeness. “Hey buddy, after you.” “No way, friend, you were here first.” “I sure was not.” “I’m in no rush.” “Me neither. Say, you on vacation?” “Sure am. Soaking up some rays.” “You know it.” “Hey.” “Say.” And so it goes on. In the time it takes two Americans to decide who should get into the chairlift first you could have got half of Germany up the Matterhorn. Living in the southeast is another example: it’s better in every way. But then you do get more for your money up north. And all the best countryside’s up there. So you see, things are never so clear cut. Except when it comes to the new Mini. First, everyone likes it. This is Michael Palin and David Attenborough rolled into one cutesy bite-size package. Even non-car people are drawn to it like vegetarians to a bacon sandwich. The looks and the cheeky chappiness would have been enough to win it many, many friends but it’s also fabulous fun to drive. The basic One is a hoot, the Cooper is hysterical and the Cooper S is a riot. They’re even doing a 200bhp Works version these days. And that is the motoring equivalent of fish and chips at the Ivy: it appeals on every single conceivable level. Maybe, if I’m hypercritical, the back of the Mini’s a bit cramped and maybe the image has been tarnished a bit in London by an estate agency that has bought thousands. But if you don’t live in the capital and you don’t have children who are 15ft tall, I can’t think of a single reason why you would consider, even for a moment, buying anything else. Think of it as the Yorkshire Dales with Liverpool house prices in Chelsea. Or Vail run by the Swiss. That’s exactly what I was thinking on Monday morning as I peered out of my bedroom window at the 180bhp Peugeot 206 GTi that was being delivered. It seemed so pointless. No, really. Why would anyone be interested in such a thing when for a little bit less money they could have a slightly more accelerative Mini Cooper S? By the time I’d finished my coffee and was ready to leave for the week in London I’d pretty much decided to leave it where it was and use the Mercedes instead. Well, it was a lovely day and I saw no point in spending time in a hot box. I don’t know why I changed my mind. Guilt perhaps? A sense that I have to drive everything, no matter how stupid or pointless it might seem. Or maybe it’s because I spotted the air-conditioning button on the Pug’s dash and thought: “Oh, it won’t be that bad.” Whatever, I loaded my suitcases in the back and with the temperature nudging 75F headed for London. After half a mile I was suspicious. After a mile I was angry. It may have an air-conditioning button but it sure as hell doesn’t have air-conditioning. The Rolls-Royce system works with the power of 30 domestic refrigerators. Peugeot’s works with the power of an asthmatic in Bangladesh blowing at you through a straw. There are some other issues, too. For instance, the hand-stitched instrument binnacle. Imagine one of those 14-year-old boys who hang around provincial bus stops at two in the morning. That’s what the interior of the Pug looks like. Now imagine him in a pair of hand-made Church’s shoes. And that’s what a hand-stitched instrument binnacle looks like in there. Like it’s been nicked. Plus, I’m blessed with stupidly tiny feet. For someone so tall, it’s absurd that I have to totter around on a pair of size nines. However, they were too big to fit on the clutch properly. And goddam, it’s hot in here. It’s noisy, too, because now I’m having to drive down the damn motorway with the damn window down. Why the hell didn’t I take the Mercedes? In some ways this was all a bit depressing. I used to love hot hatchbacks because they did two jobs for the price of one. They were cheap to buy, cheap to run and as practical as the shopping trolleys on which they were based. But, then, on the right road, at the right time, they could set fire to passing woodland. I’m getting old, though. I don’t want a practical shopping trolley and I don’t much want to set fire to the woods either. Furthermore, those who are young enough to want both things could not possibly afford to insure this car. Anyway, who’d want to when they could have a better made, better equipped, faster, cheaper and cheekier Mini? With air-con-bloody-ditioning. The next day the Pug drove me even madder. Have you tried to drive though London in a car with a manual gearbox while talking on the phone? It’s like rubbing your head and patting your tummy while defusing a bomb. On Wednesday I used the 206 to go to the Top Gear base and, I have to admit, on a quiet country road it was quite good fun. Nothing like the hot hatches of yesteryear that sang soprano, it was more a torquey tenor. But that’s okay when you’re 43; it means you don’t have to stir the gearbox so much. It wasn’t the speed that impressed most, though, it was the handling. It would sail round corners at velocities I would deem silly or even suicidal in other cars, some of which cost an awful lot more than £14,995. I must confess, I found myself driving this little pocket rocket much faster than was entirely sensible. And I loved it. By the time I arrived I felt 18 years old again. All day, as we made the show, I kept walking past the 206 and thinking: “Actually, that’s a very pretty little car.” And it is. Less cute than a Mini but prettier, certainly, and, with those huge alloys and fat tyres, more businesslike. On Thursday I drove it round the Top Gear track and it was simply staggering. I’m loathe to use the word perfect but the combined effect of variable assistance power steering, dual-rate springs, sharp dampers and truly magnificent front seats that nail you in place is that you can absolutely fly. The Mini’s good but the Peugeot’s in a different class. It’s like comparing Iron Maiden to Led Zep. And part of the difference is down to weight. The Mini really is an Iron Maiden and the Peugeot really is a hot-air balloon. Sadly, on Thursday night I went to a party where I quaffed champagne until I didn’t know my name any more. This meant that when I woke up in Chipping Norton today I couldn’t for the life of me remember where the Peugeot was. I miss it. VITAL STATISTICS Model Peugeot 206 GTi 180 Engine type Four cylinders, 1997cc Power 180bhp @ 7000rpm Torque 152 lb ft@ 4750rpm Transmission Five-speed manual Suspension (front) MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (rear) trailing arms, transverse torsion bars, coil springs, anti-roll bar Dimensions 3835mm length; 1652mm width; 1432mm height Tyres 205/40R-17 C02 204g/km Fuel 32.8mpg (combined) Top speed 140mph Acceleration 0 to 62mph: 7.4sec Price £14,995 Verdict Like a classic rock'n'roll band - fun, fast, good looking and very sweaty Fonte