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New models - Peugeot - 308 - GTi

Sub-$50k price for Peugeot 308 GTi

Too toned: Peugeot's athletic 308 GTi will arrive in February next year and is available in this conspicuous half and half paint job.

GTi badge returns to Peugeot 3-series range after decade hiatus from $44,990 BOCs

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Peugeot logo24 Nov 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

PEUGEOT'S long-awaited 308 GTi hot hatch will go on sale next month from a Golf R and GTI-bating price of $44,990 before on-road costs for the 184kW base 250 variant, or $49,990 for the most potent 200kW 270 version.

With two versions on offer, the hot Pug is equipped to simultaneously target both the 169kW Golf GTi Performance from $46,490 and the 206kW Golf R, which costs $52,740, and marks the return of the GTi badge to the Peugeot 3-series hatch range after a ten-year break.

Its sharp price and twin-attack also sets up the 308 GTi to worry other competitors in the hot-hatch segment, such as the $52,990 Renault Megane RS275, $38,990 Ford Focus ST and the more fiery $50,990 RS version when it arrives next year.

Peugeot will start taking orders for the latest 308 variant from December this year, with the first examples expected to arrive in showrooms in February 2016.

While its competitors develop power from a minimum of 2.0-litres, both versions of the hottest 308 do battle with just 1.6-litres, but still manage a torque output of 330Nm at 1900 rpm in both cases.

The pair of highly strung engines are turbocharged and intercooled, running a high-compression ratio of 9.2:1, but “competition-style” forged pistons with oil jet cooling and a steel exhaust manifold resist the high temperatures generated under heavy load.

The top-performing 270 will crack the magic 100km/h mark from zero in 6.0 seconds, while the 250 takes 0.2-seconds longer, and both versions are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox.

Its “pseudo-MacPherson strut” front suspension is unique to the GTi pair and keeps weight to a minimum with hollow anti-roll bars and wishbones, while the rear end is a typical hot-hatch torsion beam.

The special chassis set-up has lowered the GTi by 11mm compared with the standard hatch for improved handling and reduced bodyroll, and both front and rear tracks have been widened to 1570mm and 1554mm respectively.

Two-hundred and seventy versions get a brake boost with 380mm front discs on aluminium hubs and floating four-pot callipers, while the tail gets 268mm discs and fixed callipers.

The top-performing version also gets a traction advantage with a Torsen-type limited-slip differential as standard.

Sportier GTi versions of the 308 are differentiated from their more pedestrian brethren with 19-inch wheels that wear Michelin Pilot Sport tyres, redesigned side sills, and twin exhausts framed by gloss black housing, while two additional front spoilers improve aerodynamics.

The front end features LED headlamps and indicators and a chequer-pattern gloss black grille.

In addition to the standard 308 colours, exteriors can be dressed up in a range of paint choices including Ultimate Red, Pearlescent White, Magnetic Blue, Nera Black and Cumulus Grey, but customers wanting to go for a more unconventional look can opt for a two-tone red and black or flat Hurricane Grey.

On the inside, the sports treatment continues with red stitching, GTi and Peugeot Sport signatures throughout, with an extra treat for top-spec 270 versions in the form of Alcantara bucket seats.

A compact leather steering wheel, aluminium gear knob and pedals, head-up display, i-Cockpit instrument and touchscreen are standard offerings.

The last time a GTi badge graced the rump of any 3-series Peugeot hatch in Australia was in 2005, when the French car-maker briefly introduced a hot version of the 307 in strictly limited numbers.

Peugeot 308 GTi pricing*
250 $44,990
270 $49,990
*Excluding on-road costs

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