The new Peugeot 308 GTi is developed by the French car maker’s motorsport division Peugeot Sport and they’ve fiddled with the basic car in many aspects to make it a true hot hatch which will take the fight to the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
First up, the engine retains the same 1.6-litre capacity but now produces 270hp and 330Nm of torque. That’s good news indeed but it gets even better as the powerful THP 270 S&S engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission which has been beefed up to absorb the torque.
Peugeot say the 308 GTi will be offered with a less powerful EP6 FDTR engine which provides 250hp but still provides 330Nm of torque. Performance-wise, the more powerful 270hp car will hit 100 km/h from a standstill in six seconds while the slightly less powerful 250hp car does the same 0.2 seconds slower. It also receives smaller brakes and alloy wheels. You can guess which one is the more desired one here.
The next important aspect of the 308 GTi is the handling. Underpinning the hot hatch is the familiar EMP2 platform which now features a stiffer model-specific suspension system, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Additionally, the car has a wider front (1,570mm) and rear (1,554mm) track along with sticky Michelin Super Sport tyres (235/35) wrapped around 19-inch alloys. Stopping power is contributed by 380mm ventilated carbon discs at the front with four piston calipers while the rear gets 268mm discs.
Distinguishing itself from the base car, the 308 GTi is painted in a Ultimate Red and Perla Nera Black colour scheme dubbed Coupe Franche with six colours on offer as well. Elsewhere, the GTi gets a new front grille replacing the standard horizontal slates while the fog lamps are replaced by additional air intakes. Along the sides, there are GTi emblems just below the side mirrors while a dual exhaust at the rear rounds up the design.
Inside, the impression of high-performance can be seen from the Peugeot Sport bucket seats – upholstered in Alcantara and leather. Peugeot’s familiar i-Cockpit is retained here as well with red highlights on the steering wheel and instrument cluster, in line with the 308 GTi’s sporty ambitions.
So, will Peugeot’s new hot hatch be a worthy adversary for the Volkswagen Golf GTI?