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Peugeot's 308 GT wagon delayed by RHD availability

Tour de France: Peugeot Australia is lobbying its French parent company, PSA, to introduce a right-hand drive version of the petrol-powered 308 GT Touring wagon.

Petrol-powered Peugeot 308 GT Touring is a left-hand drive only model, for now

Peugeot logo26 Feb 2015

PEUGEOT’S newly released 308 GT will remain a hatch-only proposition for the time being in Australia, as the French car-maker considers building petrol-powered right-hand drive versions of the GT Touring wagon at Peugeot Australia’s request.

With right-hand drive GT Touring production currently offered only in diesel right-hand drive configuration to serve the United Kingdom, it is understood that Peugeot Australia wants the 151kW 1.6-litre THP petrol engine from the GT hatch to be fitted for the Australian market.

Aiding the GT Touring petrol’s chances is higher-than-anticipated demand for the regular 308 Touring model, which in $38,000, plus on-roads, Allure 110kW BlueHDi turbo-diesel guise, has snared over 30 per cent of total model sales since launching last October.

While the 133kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel from the GT hatch is readily available in GT Touring form, Peugeot Australia believes the local market prefers petrol power in this end of the market. This is despite the absence of an automatic option in the 151kW THP petrol model.

Peugeot Australia product manager Pavel Meck said the local distributor, Sime Darby, has already put its hand up for the 308 GT Touring.

“It is not being made available to our market,” he told GoAuto at the 308 Allure 1.6 THP and GT launch in Albury earlier this week.

“It is something we will definitely study and put a case forward to PSA if we have an opportunity to take it. But as of this time, it is not available for right-hand drive markets.

“There has been a very strong demand for the 308 Touring, which strengthens our case to PSA that we need that GT variant in.” Should the Touring’s initial sales burst continue, Peugeot Australia would look at expanding the entire 308 wagon portfolio.

“The 308 Touring was projected at eight to 10 per cent model mix in Australia, but it is currently sitting at 32 per cent – and that’s only with an Allure,” revealed Peugeot Australia PR manager Tyson Bowen. “And with that we can study and look at better ways of delivering what the market requires.” Peugeot Australia sales and marketing manager Dimitri Andreatidis added that he is confident that French parent company PSA will listen to Peugeot Australia’s requests for a 308 GT Touring petrol variant, particularly if he can produce data showing consumer demand to back him up.

A similar situation occurred last year when the limited-run 30th Anniversary version of the 208 GTi was originally not slated for Australian consumption, until internet-savvy buyers and fans began to petition PSA to allocate a number for Peugeot Australia.

“An interesting case study is that with the 208 GTi 30 (anniversary edition model), it was not originally going to be brought in,” Mr Andreatidis said. “But consumers came in and said ‘hey we want this car’ and we were able to communicate this to PSA, and voila, the car was made available. We let the consumers speak.” In UK diesel six-speed automatic spec, the 308 GT Touring 133kW BlueHDi hits the zero to 100km/h mark in 8.6 seconds, just 0.2 seconds shy of the hatch version, which is 0.9 seconds slower than the petrol hatch manual.

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