Peugeot’s two most powerful hot hatches will hit Australia, in February 2016.
A five-door body, six-speed manual gearbox, front wheel drive and a euro 6 compliant, 1.6 litre turbo engine, in either 184 kilowatts or 200 kilowatts guise, will be on offer when it arrives in dealer showrooms.
With a strong motorsport heritage, it seemed natural for Sydney Motorsport Park to be the backdrop for carshowroom.com.au to have its first taste of the racy new Pug.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Overview
The 2016 Peugeot 308 GTi is available in two models grades, with a choice of two engine outputs, paired to a six-speed manual gearbox and driving the front wheel through a limited slip differential.
Both the GTi 250 and the GTi 270 sit 11mm lower than the standard 308, with a wider front and rear track.
GTi 250 highlights include: (250 horsepower or 184 kilowatts) engine tune, gloss-black chequered pattern horizontal grille, LED indicators, include 18-inch alloy wheels, ABS, ESC, front spoilers, gloss black diffuser with twin exhausts, leather and alcantara sports seats, climate control air, six airbags, with red stitching on the seats, door panels, gear lever, alloy pedals, gear knob and footrest.
The GTi 270 gains: (270 horsepower or 200kilowatts) 19-inch alloys, exclusive design leather and alcantara seats, larger disc brakes, a specific intercooler and the Torsen limited slip differential.
PEUGEOT 308 GTI LINE-UP AND PRICING:
|Peugeot GTi250||1.6 litre turbo petrol||6MT||$44,990|
|Peugeot GTi270||1.6 litre turbo petrol||6MT||$49,990|
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Engine
Peugeot Sport, (think of them as Mercedes’ AMG equivalent) took the standard 1.6 litre engine found in other models and completely redeveloped it for the GTi twins. The four-cylinder, twin-scroll 2.5 bar, turbo petrol engine is available with two levels of tune, 250 (184kW) and 270 (200kW) horsepower. Both feature toughened and hardened components throughout, a reinforced block, race-bred Mahle competition pistons and tuned exhaust.
There is just the one gearbox, a six-speed manual and drive is via the front wheels.
The GTi 250 produces its 184 kilowatts of power at 6,000rpm and has 330 newton metres of torque between 1,900 - 4,000rpm. Zero to 100km/h takes 6.2 seconds.
The GTi 270 punches out 200 kilowatts of power at 6,000rpm and its 330 newton metres of torque is spread from 1,900 to 5,500rpm. It also shaves .2 of a second off the 0-100km/h time.
The GTi 270 delivers best in class power to weight ratio of 6.0 kg/kw.
Both run on 95-98 RON fuel, are Euro 6 emissions rated, have stop start technology and are electronically limited to 250km/h and have a combined fuel economy of 6.0 L/100km.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Interior
The 308 GTi benefits from the classy and spacious interior of the standard 308.
A very clean dash layout, with high mounted instruments and a small leather steering wheel, bereft of switches sets it apart from its rivals.
Enhancements specific to the GTi range include leather and alcantara sports seats with red stitching, (the GTi 270 gets its own unique design racing pews), alloy pedals, footrest and gearknob and the Driver Sports Pack that is activated by a button on the console and changes the display from white to red, providing additional information like power, torque, boost, lateral and longitudinal acceleration.
The sculptured sports seats of the GTi 270 provide excellent comfort and outstanding support with their exaggerated side and thigh bolsters. The pedals are perfectly place for heel and toe downshifts and the tilt and reach steering column and seats have good ranges of adjustment.
The driver-facing touch-screen is easy to use and intuitive with the usual suite of goodies including, reversing camera, sat nav, audio, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, USB and aux jacks.
The luggage capacity is a respectable and useable 470 litres with the rear seats in place.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Exterior & Styling
The Peugeot 308 GTi stands out from the 308 sitting 11mm lower with a wider front and rear track, for a broader, more purposeful stance.
Filling the guards are 18-inch alloys on the GTi250 and 19-inch alloys on the GTi270.
There is little overhang front and back and the 308 GTi sports 1.67 degrees front and 1.75 degrees rear negative camber, to aid cornering and handling.
You could easily mistake the GTi’s as German in design rather than French. Gone are the design quirks one expects and in its place is a very clean design, with a small chrome grille, large swept back headlights, slightly puffed guards, large glass areas and a gentle hip line and profile contours.
Measuring in at 4,253mm length, 1804mm width and 1446mm in height the 308 GTi sits slightly lower than standard 308’s
The GTi’s palette includes Ultimate Red, Pearlescent White, Magnetic Blue, Nera Black, Cumulus Grey and a non-metallic Hurricane Grey. A ‘Coupe Franche’ two-tone (red & black) design is exclusive to the GTi 270.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi On the Road (Track)
Sydney Motorsport Park and its billiard smooth surface was the venue for CarShowroom.com.au to sample the Peugeot 308 GTi 270.
The power from the turbocharged 1.6 litre 200 kilowatt engine is linear with no torque steer, thanks to the limited slip diff. While initial takeoff is strong, when it hits the 1,900 rpm sweetspot with all of the 330 newton metres of torque to play with, it really impresses, with outstanding oomph that shoves you back in the seat out of corners and as you go up through the gears.
The Peugeot 308 GTi affords a rewarding driving experience with a firm but comfortable ride and flat neutral handling that lets you tackle corners with verve and confidence. The pseudo-MacPherson strut in the front and twist beam rear axle, and vitally, the Torsen limited slip diff slingshots you through corners with impressive speed and grip.
The six-speed manual gearbox has a short throw and superb notchy feel through changes up and down and the large four piston 380mm front and 268mm rear disc brakes do an excellent job of quickly washing off speed.
We only drove the 308 GTi 270 briefly, as a GTi 250 was unavailable but there is lots to like.
Some may be turned off by the lack of an auto transmission option, but we are fans of the more involving, three pedal self shift-shifting concept.
Perhaps the pricing of the 250GTi could be sharper to compete more strongly against the identically powered Focus ST ($38,990) and more powerful Astra VXR ($39,990) and less powerful Golf GTi ($40,990).
The other issue facing Peugeot is actually getting onto the shopping list of the hot hatch buyer with so many choices, but the product can hold its head high in the face of some very tasty choices.
That said, solid early take up of the GTi twins, especially the GTi 270 has surprised even Peugeot.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Verdict
There is no doubt the Peugeot 308 GTi is a worthy contender for hot hatch buyers hard earned.
It has eye-catching, if slightly understated looks and backs it with a classy, well built interior, plenty of standard kit and a dynamic drive, which we believe will be reaffirmed after we’ve driven it on public roads.
The fact that the GTi package stems from the same platform as the standard 308 that was crowned 2014 European Car of the Year augers well for its success.
2016 Peugeot 308 GTi Competition
The competition is far and wide and European bred.
The GTi 250 competes against include the equally powerful four cylinder $38,990 Focus ST, the $39,990 206 kW Astra VXR and the $40,990 162kW Golf GTi, all are front wheel drive and all have a six-speed manual transmission.
Moving up to the GTi 270, it squares up to the turbo but auto only 155 kW Mercedes-Benz A250 at $51,000, the six-speed turbo manual 201kW Renault Megane RS 275 Cup Premium for $52,750, the 170kW six-speed turbo four Audi S1 and the $47,400 six-speed, turbo four Mini Cooper JCW.