Peugeot's upcoming hot hatchback could spawn an estate version
Mark Tisshaw
23 January 2014

Peugeot is developing an estate version of the 308 GTI. The performance variant of the recently unveiled estate has been caught in winter testing as Peugeot mulls whether or not to launch another entrant into a niche segment populated by the likes of the Skoda Octavia vRS estate and Ford Focus ST estate.

The car would be a sister model to the 308 GTI hot hatchback, which is expected to be seen at a major European motor show this year, possibly at the firm's home show in Paris in the autumn. 

The hot hatch is being billed as a direct rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTIThe choice of the Golf GTI as the main target for the 308 GTI is significant. The Golf GTI’s classy, understated looks and all-round usability are privately admired by Peugeot bosses, and the formula is seen as the best way to make a performance family hatchback fit in with Peugeot’s desired premium image.

Lightly disguised mules of both the estate and hatchback, which was caught by our spy photographer last year, show a look for the 308 GTI with similar visual changes to the standard car as the Golf GTI has over a standard Golf. The design also draws inspiration from the 308 R hot hatch concept shown at last September's Frankfurt motor show.

The changes include revised front and rear bumpers, new fog lights, twin exhausts and a new set of alloy wheels. Detail changes are expected for the interior, too.

The 308 GTI rides lower than the standard car, with revised suspension settings to suit its sportier brief. It is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with around 220bhp – a close match to the 217bhp the Golf GTI’s 2.0 TSI engine produces in its standard state of tune. 

That power figure would also make the 308 GTI estate a match for the 217bhp Skoda Octavia vRS, although it would give away around 30bhp to the 247bhp Ford Focus ST. 

The standard 308 estate will be launched at the Geneva motor show in March. 

Our Verdict

Peugeot 308

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

Join the debate

Comments
10

23 September 2013

Peugeot need the GTi to be well received, its an important image builder for them.

Having opted for a cheap beam rear axle i hope they can tune its handling to feel both fun and compliant. The 208 GTi suggests they might pull it off.

I also worry about using a 1.6 when surely a 2.0 litre would be better for over 200 bhp, and give further room for more power later. The 200 bhp in the 208 GTi sounds a lot in something small, but it doesnt feel that quick, so an extra 20 bhp in this wont set the world on fire. This might end up being more comparable with warm hatches such as the new Kia, and if this is the case it will be a big mistake to call it a GTi.

As for looks, its growing on me. When i first saw the new 308 i thought it was quite a poor effort (but much better than the current car), but as i see more of it, the better it looks

23 September 2013

It seems French manufacturers don't know which direction to take. Peugeot is going down the route of neat and sophisticated, but very conservative looks after trying a bit of distinctiveness since the 206 right up to the 508, Citroen is reverting back to flamboyance after trying the conservative German look during the past few years and Renault seems to be caught between the 2 camps. To me, French cars should be attractive but slightly odball, but we seem to be seeing a mixed bag.

23 September 2013

@Lanehogger, I get what you are saying, but I think Peugeot are working on classic good looks, like their 80's cars. The 208, 2008, 308 and 508 all look neat, tidy, and I think they will date well. I think this is a good direction for them to go, but I wish they also were planning on doing the "The drive of your life" stuff as well. Hopefully this 308 GTi will do it, but like all other GTi's since the 306, I doubt it will.

As for Renault being stuck in the middle of the two, well you're right. But they've only just started their new design direction with the Clio & Captur, two cars I think are very good looking. It will be interesting to see what the new Twingo will look like, and also how this will translate onto the Megane (facelift aside) and bigger.

23 September 2013

Just looking at these images of the new car and can't help thinking, aren't cars starting to look all the same?,there's a hint of VW Golf about it,even a bit Audi-ish,and this is a compliment..a bit like the new A45 Mercedes,but, the real bug bare is that oh so dull interior finish, the plastics below dash are woeful, and for a GTi the exterior isn't mean looking enough.

Peter Cavellini.

23 September 2013

Another extraordinarily dull looking Peugeot. They really should get back in touch with Pininfarina.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

23 September 2013
Frightmare Bob wrote:

Another extraordinarily dull looking Peugeot. They really should get back in touch with Pininfarina.

The golf is one of the dullest out there, yet sells like hotcakes. Can you blame Peugeot for trying the same tactic?

23 September 2013

Peugeot cant win. They make something look 'different' everyone slags them off. (I agree the current 308 is a munter though) They try something mainstream and go for something that looks like one of the markets best sellers (golf obviously) and they get slagged off.

I think it looks good. Not sold on the interior in the pictures but will save judgement.

Regards the 1.6, there's plently of go in that engine and at the 220 level modern 2ltr turbos are fairly lazy. If Pug have sorted their (and Mini's) coking issue they should be on for a winner.

As an extra point, just hope they don't go after GTI prices now they have tried harder. Needs to be cheaper than the Focus ST whilst feeling a more premium product to sell well.

23 September 2013

Ancient history now of course but the 309GTI sold quite well against the Golf GTI back in the day. Peugeot could do worse than think how that car carved a niche for itself. First and foremost, the ride and handling were top notch. Sure the interiors were flaky and it looked quite dull, but it didn't half drive well. Properly damped long travel suspension, well weighted linear steering, grunty engine, light weight, slick gearbox, tyres with sidewalls (remember those?). It was a great drive on British backroads. In short, a 205GTI without the OMG lift-off oversteer.... not a bad recipe then.

23 September 2013

309 GTI was so stable yet light with electric responses. But it was around 900 KG, very close to the current Elise. Thinking about the 309 GTI makes the prospect of a good 308 GTI silly. I am afraid the new Civic type R will make it even sillier in modern perspective.
Could be a good alternative to the staid Golf GTI, though, but only because the Golf is no longer a hot hatch just a premium hatch with suitable performance. Evidently most are sold with DSG.

ofir

23 September 2013

Now had this have been Ford, it would be due for launch in 2019!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again
  • Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer
    First Drive
    13 October 2017
    Off-road estate is now bigger, more spacious and available with torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, but is it enough to make its German rivals anxious?