Footdown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 January, 2007, 12:00am

We hear Hong Kong's motoring writers are queueing up to drive the latest Peugeot hot hatch, the 150-brake-horsepowered 207 GT.


An orange five-speed manual version, dealer Peugeot Hong Kong's only car, was 'purely imported for journalists to test drive' before the bulk of 207 GT stock arrives in March, says spokesman Calvin Lam. 'We don't have the price yet, but it'll be close to its selling price in Britain [GBP14,345, or HK$219,809],' he says.


The dealer's three-door hot hatch (below, in red) sounds a formidable drive, with the Ford Fiesta ST (HK$185,000), Volkswagen Golf (from HK$293,000) and Mini Cooper S (from HK$279,800) in its sights. The Pokey Pug promises a 0-100km/h sprint in 8.1 seconds, and top speed of an illegal 210km/h, thanks to the 1.6-litre turbo high-pressure EP6DT engine that Peugeot co-designed with BMW. The hottie also scored 35 points in European crash testing, where it was awarded five stars for adult protection, four for child, and an impressive three for pedestrian safety. This, and the 1007's five-star safety rating, puts Peugeot in the same safety league as Volvo and Renault, in our view.


Which reminds us that we don't see many 1007s about, and wonder if the runabout is one of the most misunderstood cars in Hong Kong. If you have one (picture in yellow), or spot one on a street near you, e-mail cars@scmp.com.


We love your letters. Sai Kung reader Greg Foster says he has fond memories of the EH Holden we featured on January 6.


'My first car was an EH Holden station wagon, three-speed automatic, two-tone paint, tan and white with a 179 engine,' says the design director. 'It was purchased in 1974 from Whelan the Wreckers in Thurgoona, close to Albury in New South Wales, for A$350 (HK$2,141). The only real work we had to do on it was replace the kingpins in the steering, after which she ran tight as a button.'


The choice for a wagon was fundamental, Foster says. 'You could carry more mates, or put your surfboards in the back, sleep in the back if you were camping,' he says. The Holden was ideal for drive-ins, Foster says, because you could lie in the back or simply sit on the tailgate to watch the flick.


'As with the panel vans of the time, the station wagon also had a reputation with your girlfriends' parents as being a bit more than just a mode of transport,' he says.


'We clocked up tons of miles on the Hume highway as well as runs up and down the Clyde mountain from Canberra to Batemans Bay and along the coastal routes of NSW.'


The wagon lasted a couple of years before it was resold at virtually the purchase price, he says. 'After a 1966 Fiat 1500 Saloon [it blew up], a 1972 VW station wagon [fell to bits], I purchased a 1965 HD Holden station wagon in perfect nick,' Foster says.


He's still into wagons. 'In the garage at present is a 02 Mini Cooper S and a 03 Subaru GTB e-tune wagon,' Foster says. 'Both nice rides.'


Finally, we thank Ferrari-loving readers' interest in our efforts to mark the Italian marque's 60th anniversary next month. In view of this response, we have written 10 'e-interview' questions for Ferrari owners and enthusiasts. If you'd like to receive these questions, for you to answer online, e-mail cars@scmp.com.