What is it?
The latest in a long line of warm Peugeot hatchbacks, of which the French car maker has has a proud, if potted, history of making. There were XS versions of both the 309 and the 306, the latter even spawning the D-Turbo, an early take on the counter-intuitive concept of a sporty oil-burner. They were, just as intended, affordable fun. Of course, in the mid-1990s, 120bhp - or even 150bhp, in S16 guise - was easily sufficient enough to weight into the ‘warm’ fray. In 2015, the 308 GT requires 202bhp to earn its stripes.
That’s obviously a sign of these lardy, lavishly equipped times, the 308 being a decent-sized paddling pool heavier than its spartan forbears. It almost goes without saying that its much higher output is wrung from much less cylinder volume, too. Where once a 2.0-litre donkey was crucial, now Peugeot can turn to its favourite twin-scroll-turbocharged, variable valve-timed 1598cc THP son (although the 178bhp diesel variant is still in throwback displacement mode).
To harness the extra shove, the GT gets the established reheat treatment, meaning Peugeot has been tinkering rather redesigning. According to the manufacturer, new suspension settings mean the model is around 20 per cent stiffer at the front struts, 10 per cent stiffer at the rear torsion bar and with the respective anti-roll bars beefed up to a similar degree. The ride height has inevitably descended, too, by 7mm at the front and 10mm at the back. There are also bigger brakes and some stickier Michelins fitted to the new alloys.