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Peugeot hints at next-gen hybrid 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.

Petrol/electric power on the table for next-generation Peugeot 308 GTi hot hatch

17 Jul 2017


PEUGEOT Sport officials have not ruled out adding hybrid power to its next generation of hot hatches, following in the tracks of the brand’s 308 R Hybrid concept of 2015.

While the current 308 GTi received just cosmetic and driver aid changes as part of a foreshortened mid-life update, the next-generation car could benefit from an electric motor to supplement its petrol engine.

Peugeot Sport manager of vehicle technology Patrice Delannoy told GoAuto that the next 308 GTi will benefit from an updated powertrain, and acknowledged that a hybrid version is under consideration.

“We have not decided which way to go,” he said, “But one of the future ways is to make a sportscar based on a hybrid.”

The 308 GTi currently runs a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is capable of producing more than the 199kW it is currently endowed with.

The brand’s Racing Cup car, for example, makes more than 225kW from the same engine by simply using a larger turbocharger unit.

As well, Peugeot previewed a triple-motor version of the 308, known as the R Hybrid, at the Shanghai motor show in 2015. The wild one-off used a pair of 85kW electric motors front and rear to supplement the stock 1.6-litre engine, producing 368kW and 730Nm in the process.

Ditching the front motor would lower the power output to around 295kW – still more than enough to make it the most powerful hot hatch in existence.

GoAuto understands that the R Hybrid’s Achilles heel was its robotised manual gearbox, and that the high torque levels generated by a petrol/electric combination meant that no automatic transmission in the PSA group could be slotted in behind the potent powerplant.

However, the 3008 SUV – released in Europe in 2015 and landing locally in August – will be offered overseas in a petrol/electric hybrid guise in 2018, and will be equipped with an auto transmission.

Mr Delannoy, who worked on the project, suggested that the next generation of GTi would benefit from a revised version of the company’s modular EMP2 chassis that would not only be stiffer, but would be modified to accept both a dual-clutch gearbox and a limited-slip differential – something the current version of the EMP2 cannot do.

He reiterated, though, that no final decision had been made about the next generation 308. “It’s possible to make a hybrid, but it’s not decided,” he said.

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