motoring, new models

Hot Peugeot 308 GTi: – yes, it’s on the calendar for SA

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NOT TOO FLASHY: However, the 19″ alloy rims let the secret out – it’s the Peugeot 308 GTi expected in South Africa in the second half of 2016. Image courtesy Peugeot

Peugeot, since the launch of the 205 GTi, has sold more than 800 000 such units: the 309 GTi, 405 Mi16, 306 S16, 208 GTi, RCZ R and now the new 308 GTi from Peugeot Sport – the team responsible for its development.

The hatchback, just launched to the media in southern Portugal, made its debut at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed and had a more public appearance at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show soon afterwards. It’s expected in South Africa in the second half of 2016.

The car has two states of tune from its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine – 184kW or 200kW – and, Peugeot says, has set a record power-to-weight ratio in its class which permits a 0-100km/h time of six seconds and a kilometre, from rest, in 25.3sec.

DIODE HEADLIGHTS, BLACK GRILLE

Hot little number, then, so to keep it on the road the 308 GTi 270 has a Torsen limited-slip differential and 19’’ Carbone 19 alloy rims shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sports which don’t quite hide the 380mm front brake and rear 268mm brake discs, each set with red Peugeot Sport callipers.

The GTi is 11mm closer to the ground than the standard shell and has a specific design front and rear along with six body colours: red, blue, black, two shades of grey, and white.

Diode headlights flank an exclusive black grille with a horizontal chequered pattern and gloss-black finishing. The indicators also use diodes each end of a dividing strip. Low spoilers exist below the bumper.

PEUGEOT 308 GTi by PEUGEOT SPORT

The rear, Peugeot says, emphasises the car’s ground-hugging qualities and the GTi signature is clearly on the front wings and the tail hatch.

The cabin is suitably sporty with typical red stitching on the facia, leather/alcantara upholstery, door panels, gearshifter and mats. Each door sill has a polished aluminium Peugeot Sport GTi kicker; the pedals footrest and gear-shifter knob are also aluminium.

The compact steering-wheel (351x329mm) has a leather design with a GTi logo at the bottom and a red centre mark at the top. There’s a head-up display and the instrument panel has chequered backdrops with another GTi badge in its centre. There’s also a large touchscreen.

A red ‘sport button’ on the centre console switches the display colour from white to red and displays further driving information on the central readout (power, torque, boost, lateral and longitudinal acceleration) and enhances engine growl and accelerator pedal mapping.

PEUGEOT 308 GTi by PEUGEOT SPORT

Peugeot Sport, the automaker says, developed the 308 GTi to meet clear specifications: “a compact, safe, incisive car with athletic allure for the ultimate in driving pleasure” and adds that the specs “permeate every aspect of the vehicle: running gear, engine, brakes and electronics”.

The entire vertical front and rear suspension is specific to the car, including spring stiffness and shock-absorber calibration.

The six-speed manual transmission has been beefed up to absorb the torque of up to 330Nm.

The 308 GTi, as already pointed out, has two engine options: The 308 GTi 250 is the entry model with the same engine as its more powerful sibling, capable of 184kW (250hp, hence the badge) and 330Nm.

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