The current Peugeot 308 has garnered plaudits from every side. It rectifies all the shortcomings of its predecessor and is a venerable alternative to the established favourites. So the prospect of the more potent GTi iteration sounds rather promising.
On paper, it looks like the 308 GTi could finally be a realistic competitor to its German counterpart bearing the same three letters. The new model made its debut at the Goodwood Festival in the United Kingdom.
It will be available in two guises, both powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine producing 184kW or 200kW. According to Peugeot, the higher output model will dash from standstill to 100km/h in six seconds flat while the slightly less powerful version achieves it in 6.2 seconds. And it’s also interesting to note that the spicier variant will be equipped with a limited-slip differential, courtesy of Torsen. Now that’s a good indication that Peugeot are serious about making an authentic performance car.
Compared to the standard models, the GTi sits 11 millimetres lower and rolls on 19-inch “Carbone” alloys. Bigger brake discs do duty and they are coated in a lick of red paint. At the rear you’ll spot a gloss-black extractor and two tail pipes – hopefully they are actually connected to the exhaust system, unlike the faux outlets on our GT Line long-term tester.
Inside, there are bucket seats upholstered in leather and alcantara. And aluminium is in plentiful supply, cladding the gear knob, pedals and driver foot rest. Peugeot’s signature compact steering wheel seems most appropriate in this application. A Driver Sport Pack will be available and one of its features includes a Sport button. This changes the displays from white to racy red. In addition, hitting it serves up the kind of information you want in a performance car – such as boost, acceleration, power and torque. It also makes the car sound angrier and sharpens up overall responses, says Peugeot. Aficionados had better hold thumbs, as the GTi is yet to be confirmed for our market.