Peugeot Warms Things Up with New 308 GT
12 Septembre 2014 - Autoblog
Peugeot chose wisely when it got back into the hot-hatch game. Instead of going after the big boys, it went small with the 208 GTI, which arrived around the same time as the latest Renaultsport Clio.
Where Renault went with a crowd-pleasing five doors and a dual-clutch gearbox, Peugeot went old-school with three doors and a stick shift. Bolstered by positive reviews, Peugeot's been widely expected to apply a similar formula to the larger 308, but instead of going for Golf R territory, it's guardedly going after the GTI instead.
The new 308 flagship model packs a 1.6-liter turbo four – the same engine in the 208 GTI, not to mention a host of other PSA and Mini models – but with a touch more output, now up to 202 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, driven to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission to send the 308 GT to 62 in 7.5 seconds (lamentably a full second off the pace of the VW GTI). It also gets a retuned and lowered suspension, upgraded brakes and rolling stock and sportier trim, but that's not the end of the story.
In addition to the five-door hatchback, Peugeot is also offering the 308 GT in wagon form, just like the Ford Focus ST. It's also offering a diesel option with a six-speed automatic. The 2.0-liter turbodiesel four packs 177 hp and 295 lb-ft, roughly comparable to the Golf GTD and new diesel Focus ST.
Considering the established tastes of the European buyers Peugeot will be going after with this new warm (if not piping hot) hatch, those four bodystyle and powertrain configurations might be enough to make the 308 GT a player, and maybe, just maybe, lead to an even hotter 308 GTI or 308 R at some point down the line. In the meantime the 308 GT will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month.