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Frankfurt show: Peugeot unleashes 200kW 308 R

Say R: The 1.6-litre turbo engine in the 308 R is found in a number of PSA and BMW products, including the Peugeot RCZ R.

Peugeot ready to battle Golf GTI and R, Ford Focus ST with 200kW 308 R concept

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Peugeot logo27 Aug 2013

By TIM NICHOLSON

PEUGEOT is about to unveil another R-badged performance car – but this time around it is taking aim at the top end of the hot-hatch market and its current king, the Volkswagen Golf R.

The 200kW 308 R Concept will make its debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, with the French car-maker using the same punchy 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine from the RCZ R coupe, and producing the same 200kW/330Nm output.

This makes the 308 R more powerful than the 184kW/360Nm Ford Focus ST and the 169kW/350Nm Volkswagen Golf GTI that will arrive in Australia later this year, but is around 20kW shy of the upcoming 221kW Golf R.

Audi's S3 pocket-rocket features the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as the Golf R, but will be detuned to 206kW/380Nm for Australia because of our hot-weather climate. The Golf R will likely get the same treatment.

While Peugeot is yet to release performance figures besides its power output, it is likely to match or better the 5.9-second sprint from 0-100km/h sprint set by the RCZ R.

The 1.6-litre engine is the result of a co-development between Peugeot’s parent company, PSA, and the BMW Group. It is used in different states of tune under the bonnet of a number of models from both groups, including the Mini Cooper S and Citroen DS3 DSport.

Unlike the all-paw Golf R, the 308 R drives through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Despite its giddy power output, Peugeot has managed to keep fuel use officially down to just 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres.

Peugeot said in a statement the power of the car required special components for durability, while other parts were reinforced. Even the engine block is specially heat-treated before machining.

While the R looks like a hotted-up version of the regular 308 hatch, Peugeot said only the roof and tailgate carried over from the standard model, with carbon-fibre doors, body panels, front wings, bonnet and bumpers attached to the metal structure.

The R takes on a far more aggressive stance than its donor car, with three large intakes incorporated into the front air dam, highlighting a track that Peugeot has widened by 30mm.

Side intakes are covered with carbon mesh while the centre intake is made of dark horizontal bars.

Pushing the performance hatch message, the Pug features two slash-like air vents on the bonnet to aid air flow that follow the style lines of the body.

Peugeot has styled the 308 R to give it a low-slung, chunky look, with muscular lines from the front three-quarter panels through to the widened rear guards.

Aerodynamic carbon-fibre external mirrors appear almost futuristic, while the side profile highlights concept's 26mm lower ride height over the standard hatch.

The pronounced rear end houses the LED tail-lights that Peugeot says resemble three claws, while a pair of tail-pipes are framed by air vents with lacquered trim.

The concept car features a two-tone paint scheme, with plain red at the front that Peugeot says “has a fluorescent base for flamboyance”. It is is contrasted at the rear with a textured blue-black colour and a split line inspired by the wild Onyx concept from last year's Paris motor show.

The interior uses Peugeot's 'i-Cockpit' design featuring a smaller steering wheel and an instrument panel that is “positioned to be viewed over, not through” to make reading driving information easier, while a 9.7-inch touchscreen houses the usual infotainment and satellite navigation controls.

GoAuto previously reported that the super-hot version of the 308 would either follow the naming convention of the RCZ R Coupe, or adopt the iconic GTi moniker, but it seems Peugeot has elected to go with the former.

While the 308 R remains a concept at this stage, it could very well follow the standard 308 hatch to production sometime next year.

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