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No auto for Peugeot 308 GTi

Euro zone: The refreshed Peugeot 308 GTi won’t be offered with an auto but will still compete against the VW Golf GTI and R, and the Ford Focus RS.

Engineers choose tricky diff over automatic transmission for Peugeot’s hottest 308

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Peugeot logo12 Jul 2017

By TIM ROBSON

THE facelifted version of Peugeot’s 308 GTi will not include an automatic transmission option when it lands in Australia later this year.

Peugeot’s five-door hot hatch, which only went on sale in early 2016, is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is backed by a six-speed manual gearbox, and it was suggested by senior Peugeot management that an automatic or dual-clutch version would be added to the car either this year or in 2018.

But Peugeot Sport technical manager, Patrice Delannoy, told GoAuto that the GTi will miss out this time around for a couple of reasons.

“The 308 GTi will not get an auto in this generation,” Mr Delannoy said. “At present there is no gearbox in the PSA family capable of handling the (330Nm) torque, and we also had to make a decision between having a Torsen diff or an automatic.”

Mr Delannoy said that the current version of the EMP2 platform upon which the 308 is based does not allow for the fitment of both the Torsen limited slip differential and a dual-clutch-style transmission.

“We chose the diff,” he said, adding that the company had discussions with transmission firms including ZF and Aisin about solving the issue. “It is very important as it helps with turning the car, so this is why we say ‘we will have the Torsen diff.&rsquo.”

Peugeot has changed the grille and bonnet, re-profiled the headlights and tinted the tail-lights of the GTi, and also added a driver’s aid package to the car.

The drivetrain and chassis, however, remain untouched.

Mr Delannoy pointed out that the 308 GTi was the first sporting car to be built on the EMP2 platform.

PSA’s brief for the GTi included a stipulation that off-the-shelf parts from the PSA empire and large supplier-sourced parts be used in its build, which largely prevented the adoption of bespoke solutions to allow for an auto transmission.

“It was a little bit hard for me being the first sport EMP2 chassis,” he said.

“Things like (suspension) bushings and bump stops from mass makers was a little tough.”

Mr Delannoy also revealed that an updated version of the EMP2 modular platform is currently in build, with additional welding and gluing making for a stiffer chassis for cars like the 308 and 3008 SUV.

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