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Future models - Peugeot - 308 - GTi

Peugeot 308 GTi coming to Oz

Hot to trot: With up to 200kW from a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine, the Peugeot 308 GTi will boast one of the highest specific output figures for a road car in Australia when it launches early next year.

Both 182kW and 200kW versions of Peugeot’s 308 GTi confirmed for Aus next year

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Peugeot logo27 Aug 2015

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

PEUGEOT has confirmed it will crown its Australian small car line-up with both 182kW and 200kW versions of the 308 GTi hot hatch in the first quarter of 2016.

Speaking at a media event in Sydney this week, Peugeot Australia general manager John Startari said the company had a target price in mind but held back from revealing a ballpark figure, blaming volatile currency markets.

Peugeot Australia product manager Pavel Meck confirmed to GoAuto the manual-only 308 GTi will be positioned above the current flagship GT range ($41,990 petrol/$42,990 diesel plus on-road costs) rather than taking a dual-flagship approach targeting both the grand touring and sports-oriented markets at a similar price point.

Among rivals mostly running engines of 2.0 litres or more, the 308 GTi’s relatively small 1.6-litre turbo-petrol punches far above its weight, backing up both power outputs with a chubby 330Nm of torque while consuming just six litres of premium unleaded per 100 kilometres on the European combined cycle.

In the 308 GTi’s price and performance crosshairs will be the auto-only $46,490 Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance (169kW/350Nm) and the all-wheel-drive Golf R (206kW/380Nm) that comes with a six-speed manual for $52,740 or a dual-clutch auto for $2500 more.

The ageing Renault Megane RS265 (from $43,990) and RS275 (from $52,990) are still big hitters in hot hatch circles, pumping out 195kW/360Nm or 201kW/360Nm respectively, while the European-built 184kW/360Nm Ford Focus ST looks like a bargain in this company at $38,990.

In full-fat 200kW guise, the 308 GTi trims two tenths off the 182kW version’s respectably rapid 6.2-second 0-100km/h sprint time and picks up bespoke go-fast goodies like a TorSen limited-slip differential and big 380mm ventilated front brake rotors clamped by four-piston Alcon callipers.

The four-pot hand-grenade powerplant is a development of that first deployed in the limited edition RCZ R coupe, tweaked to comply with Euro 6 emissions limits and fitted with fuel-saving idle-stop technology.

Being a product of Peugeot Sport – as with the RCZ R and 206 GTi 30th Anniversary – the 308 GTi has a quicker steering rack ratio and sits 11mm lower than standard 308s (the GT is 7mm lower at the front and 10mm at the back) with firmer dampers and springs, plus front and rear tracks widened by 11mm and 21mm respectively.

The 182kW variant rides on 18-inch forged alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres and the 200kW version gets 19-inch alloys with stickier Michelin Super Sports.

Both have dual outlets for the sports exhaust system, an aerodynamic bodykit and the option of a two-tone red and black paint scheme similar to that of the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary but reversed to have red at the front and black at the rear. Also like the limited-edition 208, much of the chrome is blacked out.

Typical Peugeot GTi interior cues abound, including red contrast stitching, a premium leather steering wheel, aluminium pedals, footrest and gear knob and Peugeot Sport branded aluminium sill trims.

On top of all this, the 200kW version gets Peugeot Sport bucket seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara.

“The launch of the 308 GTi signals Peugeot is back and we are back doing what we do best offering fun, efficient, enjoyable, comfortable and, in the case of 308 GTi, thoroughly engaging performance vehicles,” said Mr Startari.

“The 308 GTi will certainly give hot hatch customers a reason to look forward to 2016.”

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