Range-topping 308 GTi comes with 268bhp and will go on sale in September
25 June 2015

Peugeot has unveiled the 308 GTI, a fast but frugal 268bhp five-door hot hatch, intended to rival a raft of competitors including the Seat Leon Cupra and the Ford Focus ST, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

As expected, the new model uses the same 1.6-litre THP petrol engine as the RCZ-R, albeit tweaked for Euro6 compliance. Its CO2 emissions of 139g/km are class-leading, and backed by a 6.0 sec 0-62mph time.

Read our full review on the Peugeot 308

Alongside the 268bhp headliner, Peugeot will offer a 247bhp version of the same engine. Torque output for both is 243lb ft, driving the front wheels exclusively via a standard manual six-speed gearbox.

The chief difference between the two is the fitment of a mechanical Torsen limited slip differential to the more powerful variant. This too is a carryover from the RCZ-R and the 208 GTI 30th edition.

Like those models, the GTI is the work of Peugeot Sport, the brand’s performance division. In development for around a year, the new 308 boasts a suitably enhanced chassis to go with its performance boost.

Even when compared to the recent warmed-up GT, the GTI sits fully 11mm closer to the ground on dramatically firmer springs - Peugeot insisting the rear torsion beam is 100 per cent stiffer than previously.

The dampers have also been recalibrated, as have the hydraulic bump stops. The camber on the standard 19-inch wheels (18-inch for the 247bhp version) is increased, and the tracks widened front and rear.

Predictably, the 308’s electric steering has also been revised, the engineer’s admitting that managing torque steer and the interaction of the new differential have been among their hardest challenges.

The decision to allow the ESP to be completely switched out by the driver will have hopefully come easier, as will the inclusion of yet bigger brakes - the front discs now measuring 380mm.

The extent of its enhancements notwithstanding, Peugeot insists the GTI is a road car first and foremost; better measured against the VW Golf GTI than the intentionally fierce Renault Megane RS.

Certainly the styling garnish has been kept to the modest end of the scale. An exclusive black grille, additional spoilers and intakes, sill extenders, a gloss black diffuser and twin exhausts have been added.

None are outrageous, though. Extroverts will be steered instead to the paint options where the Coupe Franche version - a black and red split livery - is an additional £1300 option for the 268bhp edition.

Following a September launch, expect that car to go on sale in the UK at around £28,250. Expect the entry-level version to cost about £2k less.

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Our Verdict

Peugeot 308
The 308 marks the first time a carry-over name has been applied to an all-new Peugeot

Peugeot needs its all-new family hatch to be a hit. Is it up to the job?

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Comments
20

28 October 2014

ok, things are getting interesting again at PSA. Like the look of the GT but this should be the hard-core brother. Only caveat might be that it doesn't sound like PeugeotSport are involved in the suspension tuning, as they were with the RCZ-R. Could be an opportunity missed, if this is the case.

20 June 2015
michael knight wrote:

Only caveat might be that it doesn't sound like PeugeotSport are involved in the suspension tuning, as they were with the RCZ-R. Could be an opportunity missed, if this is the case.

I could find no suggestion that PeugeotSport were not involved with the chassis.

The bland/not bland discussion overlooks the original idea behind hot hatches, where Peugeot came second time-wise. Hot hatches were meant to be Q-cars, where the performance potential was not immediately discernible by the average road-user, but was spotted by every enthusiast as the car came into their view. It was like being in some sort of mechanical masonic lodge; just a little, entirely harmless, tickle to the ego.

I've not owned a car with less than 250 horsepower for about 30 years, but nearly always the hotter end of an otherwise low key model's performance range, and always at least five years old. I just reckoned that cars that age attracted less attention, rightly or wrongly.

That's what buying discreet cars is all about, keeping your light under a bushel, not attracting comments about penis envy and the like. OK, I did break my own rules a couple of times, but, generally, hot but bland is a perfect mix. Unless you have the personality, neighbours, friends, colleagues or family shallow enough to be more impressed by "show" than by "go".

(Caveat: UK roads do not really permit a lot of driving that would test anything really hot, and track days are becoming sick jokes. Some of the cars! Some of the driving! I'm losing the will to pay to be frustrated.)

28 October 2014

The bland mobile has landed!

Peter Cavellini.

28 October 2014
Peter Cavellini wrote:

The bland mobile has landed!

It landed over 20 years ago with the Mk3 Golf and is still going strong as the Mk7.

28 October 2014
Citytiger wrote:
Peter Cavellini wrote:

The bland mobile has landed!

It landed over 20 years ago with the Mk3 Golf and is still going strong as the Mk7.

The corporate front?,where's the imagination in that?,the Car looks so heavy,big,for something this potent,maybe a different grille design,DRL's or something,looking like it is isn't doing it any favours.

Peter Cavellini.

18 June 2015
Citytiger wrote:
Peter Cavellini wrote:

The bland mobile has landed!

It landed over 20 years ago with the Mk3 Golf and is still going strong as the Mk7.

VW bashing yet again. Yawn.

28 October 2014

Agree it does look bland, Peugeot need some design flair. As for the Golf it has always been conservative but benefits from an impression of quality and solidity. Never owned a VW so I'm just going from reports etc.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

1 June 2015

I'd take the bland looks of this 308 anyday over the wacky looks of its predecessor, with its huge gob, fat a**e and weird wheelarches. Peugeot design had become increasingly ersatz since the days of the handsome and restrained '06 series models. The current 208, 308 and 508 are,IMHO, a welcome return to form. However, that said, I agree that the GTI version of the 308 would benefit from some styling differentiation from the more mundane models.

28 October 2014

The picture above is the GT not the GTI - read what it says underneath the picture!

28 October 2014
gazza5 wrote:

The picture above is the GT not the GTI - read what it says underneath the picture!

that's asking a bit much of some postere here :)!

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