A high-ranking Peugeot executive has confirmed the French firm has ditched the GTi badge, bluntly stating “it is not the future”.

Laurent Blanchet, Peugeot’s global product and strategy director, made the comment during an online media event attended by CARmag.co.za.

“We have to be very clear on that topic. GTi [models] were ICE [internal combustion engine] cars, so that is to say, it is not the future, to be very clear,” Blanchet said.

The French firm recently launched its new Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE) division, which has been conceived to develop high-performance electrified models.

The 508 is the first nameplate to benefit, gaining the PSE badge and combining a turbocharged 1,6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors for peak system outputs of 265 kW and 520 N.m. That makes the plug-in hybrid performance variant Peugeot’s most powerful model yet, allowing a sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5,2 seconds.

“So we decided – and we are the first – to change from ICE solutions to hybrid. Hybrid performance cars that provide to the customer, on one side, a high level of performance, and on the other side, very low consumption. And that’s the way we want to enter this new performance world,” Blanchet explained.

Peugeot first used the GTi badge on the 205 in 1984.