Peugeot 308 GTI 2018
Хот-хэтч Peugeot 308 GTi
Пежо 308 ГТи (2020-2021) цены и комплектация. Технические характеристики «308GTi» и обзор с фотографиями.
На Международной автовыставке во Франкфурте в сентябре 2015 года прошла официальная премьера серийной версии самого «быстроходного» (по крайней мере – на тот момент) Peugeot 308 второй генерации, к названию которого приписали приставку «GTi». При этом предпоказ французского хот-хэтча состоялся еще в первом месяце лета – на Фестивале скорости в Гудвуде.
В первых числах июня 2017 года перед широкой общественностью предстала обновленная «зажигалка», которая обошлась без каких-либо технических доработок, но при этом слегка преобразилась внешне и получила ряд новых опций.
Визуально Пежо 308 GTi выделяется на фоне своего «гражданского собрата» оригинальной сеткой радиаторной решетки и воздухозаборников в переднем бампере, выраженными боковыми «юбками», интегрированными в диффузор двумя «трубами» системы выхлопа и, соответственно, логотипами «GTi».
В зависимости от версии, пятидверка комплектуется легкосплавными дисками на 18 или 19 дюймов, а ее кузов может иметь двухцветный окрас.
Длина GTi-версии «308-го» укладывается в 4253 мм, высота – в 1446 мм, ширина – в 1804 мм, величина базы колес – в 2617 мм. Дорожный просвет автомобиля составляет порядка 100 мм, а его «боевой» вес не превышает 1205 кг.
Интерьер Peugeot 308 GTi позаимствован у обычной модели с минимальными изменениями: спортивные сиденья с ярко выраженным профилем, облаченные в комбинацию кожи и алькантары, контрастные швы и вставки красного цвета, а также надписи «GTi».
В остальном – полное сходство…
Под капотом «заряженного» хэтчбека установлен бензиновый 1.6-литровый турбомотор THP с непосредственным впрыском, доступный в двух степенях форсировки:
- базовый вариант производит 250 лошадиных сил при 6000 об/минуту,
- а «топовый» – 270 «кобыл» при аналогичных оборотах.
Пиковый крутящий момент в обоих случаях составляет 330 Н·м при 1900 об/минуту.
В сочетании с двигателем работает 6-скоростная «механика», доставляющая весь запас тяги на колеса передней оси, а более мощная модификация также укомплектована дифференциалом повышенного трения типа Torsen.
«Начальный» 308 GTi оставляет позади первую «сотню» спустя 6.2 секунды, топ-версия шустрее на 0.2 секунды. Предельные возможности зафиксированы на отметке 250 км/ч, а топливный «аппетит» насчитывает 6 литров в смешанном режиме.
В конструктивном плане «быстроходная» версия во многом идентична стандартному «308-му»: модульная «тележка» EMP2, независимая подвеска типа МакФерсон спереди, полузависимая архитектура с торсионной балкой сзади, электрогидравлический усилитель руля.
Отличия заключаются в более жестких пружинах и амортизаторах, а также в иных настройках рулевого управления и шасси.
Передние колеса 250-сильного решения вмещают вентилируемые диски диаметром 330 мм, задние – 268 мм. Более мощные машины спереди оснащаются 380-миллиметровыми углеродно-керамическими дисками.
На европейском рынке за «топовый» Peugeot 308 GTi, переживший обновление в 2017 году, минимально просят 35 530 евро (
По умолчанию хэтчбек «щеголяет» полностью светодиодной оптикой, шестью подушками безопасности, мультимедийной установкой с цветным экраном, спортивными передними сиденьями, дифференциалом Torsen, 19-дюймовыми «катками» из легких сплавов, двухцветной окраской кузова и многим другим полезным оборудованием.
2018 Peugeot 308 GTi review
Pros and Cons
- Looks great
- 1.6-litre engine pulls hard
- Interior presentation is lovely
- Limited-slip differential
- Rubbery gearshift
- Frustrating infotainment
- Ergonomics won’t be to all tastes
Three years is a long time in the world of hot hatches. When the Peugeot 308 GTi launched in 2016, it was faced with the ageing Renault Megane RS, a Golf GTI making 162kW, and the Ford Focus ST. Honda wasn’t importing the Civic Type R at the time, and the i30 N was just a twinkle in Albert Biermann’s eye.
Jump to 2018 and the hot-hatch market has exploded. The venerable Golf GTI is DSG-only and makes 180kW, the Hyundai i30 N is a giant-killer, Honda has the wild Civic Type R, and French hot-hatch lovers can get their kicks in a fresh, four-door Megane RS.
It’s been given a nip/tuck since launch, and the lower-powered GTi 250 has been axed, but the 308 is faced with a remarkable field of competitors, some of which the engineers in Sochaux simply couldn’t have seen coming.
On paper, the 308 probably shouldn’t stand a chance. Whereas its competitors all lean on 2.0-litre or 1.8-litre four-cylinder engines, Peugeot has decided just 1.6 litres are enough.
Thankfully, the four-cylinder turbocharged engine (THP S&S, code nerds) punches above its weight, putting 200kW and 330Nm to the front wheels through a mechanical locking differential and a six-speed manual transmission.
There’s no automatic, so get to the gym and start working your left leg. That’s a winning strategy among a small puddle of enthusiasts, but a self-shifter is required to swim in the sales deep-end.
The combination of small displacement and a large turbocharger has the potential to make the GTi a laggy mess, but it all works remarkably well in practice, pulling hard from around 1750rpm and hauling smoothly to redline.
Peak torque is available from 1900rpm, but the engine’s linearity is what really stands out: you just get a silky sweep of the tach’ needle and an unrelenting shove in the back. It’s relatively efficient, too, with a claimed 6.0L/100km translating to around 8.0L/100km in the real world.
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The transmission is something of a weak link, though. Peugeot should be applauded for taking the enthusiast ‘high road’ and offering only a manual, but the six-speeder in the 308 is hamstrung by a long throw and a rubbery feel. «Near-flaccid» is how Curt described it in our mega test, and I can’t really do better than that.
The stick-only Honda Civic Type R is still the benchmark hot hatch if rowing your own is high on the list of priorities, but even the i30 N has a shorter throw and more positive, substantial feel. Oh, the Golf GTI did offer a more intuitive shift, but those days are gone. Sigh.
Although it’s not fair to punish Peugeot for catering its layout for French tastes, the small pedals, closely stacked throttle/brake and high clutch all require a deft touch if you wear chunky Australian boots instead of thin-soled loafers.
Tight pedals aren’t the only control-based oddity – far from it, in fact. It wouldn’t be a French car review without even one mention of ergonomics, right?
Peugeot has bet the house on its iCockpit interior layout, which pairs a tiny steering wheel with high-set instruments for what’s intended as a more ergonomic cabin layout. I love it, others (ahem, Paul Maric) claim the dials are perpetually obscured. Try before you buy.
The dials are simple, but their stylised font and odd-shaped needles mean the digital readout is an absolute must in Australia. Flicking into Sport mode turns the entire gauge cluster red, which sounds cool but just means you can’t see the redline. Plus, the Sport button itself sits uncomfortably close to the parking brake and start button.
You use all three regularly, and they all require a long, firm press to work.
Unique badging aside, the 308 GTi is near identical to the standard hatchback inside. The centre console is minimalist in the extreme, with a row of climate buttons, a CD slot and volume knob the only physical supplements to a 9.7-inch touchscreen sitting proud at the top.
With the MY18 update came a cleaner interface, quicker touch response and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, but it feels dated compared to the i-Cockpit 2.0 set-up from the 3008 and 5008. The lack of physical climate-control buttons is just criminal, and there’s often a hint of hesitation if you ask it to do too many things at once.
If you’re going to go all-touch on infotainment, the system needs to feel snappy all the time, and the 308’s touchscreen just doesn’t.
You also miss out on autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control, both of which are becoming must-haves in cars across all pricepoints. Blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning are both standard, though, along with parking sensors and a surround-view camera.
The camera isn’t close to the best in the business, with a muddy quality about the picture and a tendency for the front camera to go missing on start-up, but it’s still up to scratch if all you’re worried about is dinging a wheel on the kerb.
At least the physical basics are excellent, with the standard massaging (not heated) Peugeot Sport bucket seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and metal gear knob combining to deliver a sporty feel. Peugeot Sport absolutely nailed the seats: they’re pretty, comfortable, and offer enough support for keen drivers – a rare combination.
There was enough space in the back for three adults on the way back from collecting the car, but with the driver’s seat in my preferred position, the only people getting in are very, very small children or professional contortionists. Head room is par for the class.
There’s 470L of space in the boot, which grows to 1309L with the rear seats folded, meaning it’s pretty practical too. You don’t get a space saver – let alone a full-sized spare wheel – though, in news that’ll annoy those who frequent rural regions.
Coupled with a quick steering rack, the tiny steering wheel makes the car feel like an oversized go-kart around town. Don’t be fooled. This is a serious hot hatch with something to offer serious drivers who like serious driving. Seriously.
Whereas the 208 GTi feels playful, the bigger 308 has a more dialled-in feeling. Turn-in is sharp and there’s hardly any body roll, but the rear end doesn’t feel overwhelmingly keen to get involved, even when provoked with a sharp lift off the throttle.
Grip from the Michelin Pilot Sport tyres is prodigious, and the limited-slip differential does its thing on the way out of corners, helping channel all 330Nm to the front wheels with minimal torque steer. Once you’re turned in, you can really lean on the diff, safe in the knowledge it’ll drag you out.
Although it’s not the most track-focused hot hatch going around, the little Pug still feels purposeful. As for how it stacks up on a track? Direct your attention to the below quote from our recent hot-hatch mega test, please and thanks.
«Sharp, reactive steering and assertive chassis aside, its soft-edged nature and near-flaccid gearshift rob some key satisfaction from the hot-lapping experience.»
Anthony Crawford was more complimentary on his first drive in Europe, for what it’s worth, excitedly arguing «it doesn’t take long to build confidence» in the car, thanks to «ludicrous levels of grip» and «the sheer stopping power» of the brakes.
It doesn’t suffer for it too dramatically around town, either, with light controls, comfortable seats and an amenable ride combining to make the GTi a friendly commuter. The engine is tractable and surprisingly quiet in normal mode, with gentle inputs barely registering a growl, which could be seen as a positive or a huge drawback depending on your perspective.
Flicking into Sport mode adds an obnoxious layer of fake noise, but realistically those chasing aural excitement should buy an i30 N. In fact, the most memorable noise from the 308 wasn’t the engine, but instead from the tyres on coarse-chip tarmac. It’s noisier than a Golf GTI at highway speeds, although it still shades the more hardcore hot-hatch set for long-haul refinement.
All of which leads neatly to the question of whether you should actually buy a 308 GTi.
You’ll pay $45,990 before on-road costs for the Peugeot, making it more expensive than the aforementioned Hyundai with the Premium Pack and sunroof. It’s also pricier than a Renault Megane RS280 manual without the Cup Package, and slightly more expensive than the DSG Golf GTI.
As with the Hyundai, you get a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty on the 308, compared to three for the Golf and Megane, but your first three services will cost $659, $702 and $659.
Countering that is the fact the 308 looks and feels more premium and ‘interesting’ than any of those cars, at least to this reviewer. It’s still a very pretty hatch, even late in its life, and that counts for something as well.
At risk of fence-sitting, you probably already know if you want one. Francophiles, free-thinkers and long-time Peugeot lovers will no doubt be frothing at the mouth by now, but the car’s quirks – software and ergonomic – would probably be too much for me to abide in the long run.
Peugeot 308 GTi 2018 review
The French airforce doesn’t have a stealth bomber. But if the Armée de l’Air did move in that direction, it might look like the Peugeot 308 GTi.
Often overlooked by the motoring public — and automotive media — the Peugeot 308 GTi has struggled to find traction in Australia. A mid-life update killed off the wishy-washy «GTi 250» model which lacked top-end power, big brakes and a proper limited slip differential, leaving the proper «GTi 270» as the only model in the range.
Is it right for me?
Can you live with a manual transmission? If not, the 308 GTi is not going to work for you. Stubbornly uncompromising in many ways, Peugeot engineers did not follow the lead of VW’s ultra-successful Golf GTI by developing a two-pedal variant of their hot hatch.
It also looks rather plain to our eyes — save for rather fetching 19-inch wheels and twin chrome exhaust pipes — bringing none of the visual menace wrought by Renault’s new Megane RS or the over-the-top chiselled Japanese comic book hero of Honda’s Civic Type R.
You also won’t hear a contrived bang and crackle from the exhaust to rival Ford’s Focus RS or the Hyundai i30 N.
Like we said, this one flies under the radar.
Can I afford it ?
Peugeot rejigged its 308 GTi lineup to little fanfare in late 2017, dropping an entry-level model and reducing the remaining variant’s price to $45,990 plus on-road costs — a $4000 reduction.
The sticker puts the Pug above Hyundai’s i30 N and the revised, auto-only Golf GTI, but below the Renault Megane RS with Cup Pack and Honda Civic Type R.
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2020 Peugeot 308 Allure
2020 Peugeot 308 Allure
2020 Peugeot 308 GT Line
What do you get for your money?
Well-equipped for the money, Peugeot’s contender brings proper performance hardware including a mechanically locking limited-slip diff, enormous 380mm front brakes with Alcon-sourced calipers, supercar-spec Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres and a punchy 1.6-litre turbo engine which delivers 200kW and 330Nm.
Everyday goodies include a 9.7-inch touchscreen display system with a reversing camera, sat nav and Apple CarPlay connectivity. You also get dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, beautifully finished sports seats and a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
How much does it cost to maintain?
While Peugeot offers capped price serviving for the GTi, it is not exactly cheap at $2030 to cover the first three years of ownership — at least double that of an equivalent Honda or Hyundai.
Is it well built?
Our test example felt reasonably solid, save for a couple of annoying squeaks in the dashboard. Peugeot’s strong warranty should help look after any problems that pop up.
What are the Standout features?
The 308 GTi is a well-integrated machine with few features which truly leap out from the rest. That said, it does have the biggest brakes you will find on any car at this price.
What does it have that others don’t?
A weight problem.
Kilos are the enemy of performance cars, and the Peugeot has a huge advantage over key competitors here.
The GTi’s trim circa-1200 kerb weight undercuts the porky Hyundai hot hatch by almost 300 kilograms while holding a 200 kilo advantage over Honda and Renault rivals.
How practical is it?
The GTi also wins points by being able to seat five people in a pinch, and for having an impressive 470-litre boot space which stands as one of the most generous in its class.
Is it comfortable?
That relatively skinny bod allows the 308 to tip-toe where others tromp, skipping over bumps with minimal cabin disturbance.
Though it misses out on multi-mode suspension offered by some alternatives, the 308 GTi’s fluid ride helps it flow along the road regardless of how fast you’re travelling.
But its comfort is ultimately compromised by a crucial flaw in the cabin.
Easy in, easy out?
Peugeot forces drivers to compromise and meet its vision for ergonomic perfection. A comically tiny steering wheel sits in your lap, in many cases obscuring vision of driver gauges that lag behind the best for legibility.
Prefer to hold the wheel high, close to your chest? Tough luck, as the tiller does not match the level of adjustment served up by most hatchbacks.
Further compounding frustrations is a contradition between the wheel’s razor-sharp flick-of-the-wrists response which doesn’t match the long and lazy throw of a manual gearshift sorely lacking in precision. It’s like using chopsticks in your right hand while mashing potatos with your left, another ergonomic crime which compromises the driving experience.
Space and versatility?
There’s a reasonable amount of room for passengers in the front and back, along with flat-fold seats which make it easy to carry bulky cargo.
What’s the engine like?
Thankfully, those cabin quirks do not extend to a perky little engine which lends real pulling power to the 308 GTi.
Boasting the strongest power-to-weight ratio among front-drive hot hatches, the Pug’s engine pulls hard to deliver the sort of performance once reserved for homegrown V8s — think six seconds to 100km/h, a quarter mile dash in the low 14s and a top speed around 250km/h.
The motor gives its best when wrung out toward its redline, pulling smoothly throughouit the powerband to deliver impressive punch. That said, it is a little short on torque compared with 2.0-litre rivals, and can take a moment longer to deliver the sort of thrust you expect from a modern hot hatch.
We’ll also take a moment to whinge about a ‘sport’ mode which has little effect on its ultimate driving experience, save for turning the dashboard lighting red, making the digital speedo disappear and introducing an awful electronically synthesised facscimile of exhaust noise.
How much fuel does it consume?
A key benefit of the 1.6-litre engine’s compact capacity (and the GTi’s slender silhouette) is that it uses much less fuel than rivals, sipping an impressive 6.0L/100km which ranks among the best in class.
Is it enjoyable to drive?
That fuel never feels wasted, as the Peugeot is satisfying to drive in a variety of circumstances.
Easy enough when burbling around the ‘burbs, the GTi comes alive when let off the leash, bringing a surprising turn of pace, grip and feedback when prodded closer toward its ultimate potential.
Does it perform as you expect?
Ultimately, the Peugeot 308 GTi delivers what most people ask of a hot hatch — it’s fast, practical and fun to drive.
Better value than before, the GTi deserves a place on hot hatch shoppers’ shortlists — as long as they can live with its quirks.
2018 Peugeot 308 GTi Price and Specifications
Price: From $45,990 (plus on-road costs)
Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Peugeot 308 GTi review – a genuine alternative to the Golf GTI
An exciting hot hatch with typical French quirks
- Sophisticated dynamics, performance, style inside and out
- Interior layout may completely rule the car out for some
The Peugeot 308 GTi 270 by Peugeot Sport is the latest car in a long line of hot hatches that attempts to take on the VW Golf GTI at its own game. Compared to the hard-edged 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport, the 308 GTi is slightly softer and more friendly.
The 308 GTi feels solid and locked down over demanding roads and yet manages a degree of playfulness and adjustability when you want it. The quality of engineering in the 308 GTi is apparent, just as it is in other models fettled by Peugeot Sport. While not quite as exciting as the old RCZ-R or aggressive as the smaller 208 GTi by Peugeot Sport, it does have a character that grows on you while remaining capable and involving.
The 308 GTi has a remarkably small engine, its four-cylinder turbocharged motor is just a 1.6 when its direct rivals all boast 2-litre engines. Despite it’s relatively tiny capacity it still packs a big enough punch. The 308 GTi has 266bhp, that’s 19bhp more than the Ford Focus ST and 49bhp more than the VW Golf GTI. What’s more, it’s a far more characterful motor than the engines found in its rivals.
Also working in the 308 GTi’s favour is the interior, which is significantly different from the often dour feeling German hot hatches. It’s made from quality materials and has distinctive quirks, the most significant being the tiny steering wheel and high-set instruments. It isn’t for everyone though, as it can obscure the dials for certain people.
More reviews for 308 GTI
- Peugeot 308 review, prices and specs
- Peugeot 308 GT review — prices, specs, 0-60 time
- Peugeot RCZ road test review
- Peugeot 308 GT
- Peugeot 308 RC Z
For those seeking an exciting daily drive that offers Golf GTI-busting performance without the compromise of something like a Megane 275, the new Peugeot 308 GTi makes a worthy alternative.
Peugeot 208 GTi: In detail
> Performance and 0-60 time — The engine delivers impressive performance given its smaller-than-usual 1.6-litre engine. Read about the Peugeot 308 GTi’s performance here
> Engine and transmission — The 1.6-litre turbocharged unit produces 266bhp and is mated to a slick and fast six-speed manual gearbox. Read about the Peugeot 308 GTi’s engine and transmission here
> Ride and handling — Relatively docile to drive despite its power output, though the small steering wheel doesn’t add much to the enjoyment. Read about the Peugeot 308 GTi’s ride and handling here
> MPG and running costs — With the 308 GTi’s ample power going through the front wheels, replacement Michelin Super Sport tyres may prove expensive. Read about the Peugeot 308 GTi’s MPG and running costs here
> Interior and design — Unusually small steering wheel and raised instruments are a love-or-hate affair, but interior quality is better than you’d expect. Read about the Peugeot 308 GTi’s interior and design here
> Living with a Peugeot 308 GTI — Our long-termer proved trouble-free over 9 months but entertained us in great measure. Some reservations over the cabin layout, but not the cabin quality.
Prices, specs and rivals
The Peugeot 308 GTi is priced aggressively against its rivals at £29k, and the generous standard specification means there’s little in the way of options so you can’t venture far from the list price. So, should you decide to add the £500 sunroof or a cost-option paint finish at £650, you won’t feel too guilty. Automatic LED headlights and a digital instrument cluster are part of the standard kit – both are optional extras on the Golf GTI.
The hot hatch sector is fraught with capable rivals each with their own USP justifying a place in the market. VW’s ubiquitous Golf GTI carries more brand cachet and is priced on par with the Peugeot, but its commonality and lower (standard) specification are noted. Ultimately it is less thrilling than the Peugeot, too.
An eCoty champion and Nürburgring record-holder, the Honda Civic Type R is a sensational hot hatchback well worth its £31k price tag. It outpunches the Peugeot with 316bhp and provides an incredibly resolved driving experience, but the overwrought styling may be too much for some.
New to the segment is Hyundai’s impressive i30 N: an all-rounder which nails the hot hatch recipe. Crucially, it’s at home on jagged British roads and is pleasingly intuitive, too. The £28k list price is tempting and like the 308 it’s well specced before you start clicking through the configurator.
The new Renault Sport Megane RS has a substantial technological arsenal to call on, including hot hatch firsts, such as four-wheel steering. There’s every chance it could be as good as the preceding model and it could displace the 308 as the premier French hot hatch of choice.
Peugeot 308 GTi in M’sia – 270 hp, 6MT, RM200k est
Remember all those moons ago when we told you that the Peugeot 308 GTi wouldn’t be coming to Malaysia? Well, it’s been a long time coming but the Gallic hot hatch (in facelifted form, no less) is finally due for our shores! It’s currently being displayed at showrooms before its expected launch next month – and we’ve got a full photo gallery just for you.
The price is expected to hover around the RM200,000 mark, making it significantly cheaper than its main rival, the RM227,060 Volkswagen Golf GTI – all while boasting a far higher power output. You’d better hurry, though, as only 12 units have currently been allocated for the country.
As mentioned, this is the facelifted model, so our 308 GTi will only come in the full-fat version fettled by Peugeot’s motorsport division Peugeot Sport. As such, the ubiquitous Prince 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is boosted to 270 hp at 6,000 rpm and 330 Nm of torque at 1,900 rpm.
An honest-to-goodness six-speed manual transmission as your only option, coupled with a Torsen limited-slip differential. So equipped, the GTi will sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just six seconds flat before hitting top whack at an electronically limited 250 km/h.
Under the skin, the suspension is tuned specifically for the GTi, with an 11 mm lower ride height as well as unique spring rates and damper calibration at the front. The anti-roll bar is also more malleable to ensure a better match with torsion beam rear axle, for improved grip and road-holding. The sportier stability control system also has a higher threshold, and can now be fully switched off.
On the outside, the GTi is differentiated from standard 308 models through the more aggressive front bumper, incorporating a gloss black chequered flag grille and a red accent strip (black on models with Ultimate Red paint). Also fitted are side skirts and a large rear diffuser with twin exhaust exits. The 19-inch lightweight “Carbone” alloy wheels are wrapped in 235/35 Michelin Super Sport tyres and hide uprated brakes with 380 mm front discs, clamped by four-piston callipers.
Inside, you’ll find Peugeot Sport bucket seats with Alcantara upholstery and red stitching, along with a GTi-badged steering wheel (with red centre marking), chequered instrument gauges and aluminium door sills (with “Peugeot Sport” and “GTi” script), pedals, foot rest and gear knob.
An official kit list has not been provided, but from what we can tell, local models will get full LED headlights, keyless entry, push-button start, a panoramic glass roof, a massage function for the front seats, dual-zone auto climate control, a 9.7-inch capacitive infotainment touchscreen, six speakers and a reverse camera.
So, what do you think – this, or a Golf GTI?
2018 Peugeot 308 GTi 270: Hot Hatch Megatest 3rd
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Beguiling blend of elegance, aggression and ability
YOU PROBABLY wouldn’t have picked the Peugeot 308 GTi 270 if asked which of the cars assembled here packed the most potent power-to-weight figure.
You’d have likely nominated the Civic Type R or the Subaru WRX STi on that score, but it’s the unassuming-looking French car that claims the kW/tonne crown here, thanks in no small part to a 1205kg kerb weight that would have impressed Colin Chapman.
It’s 65kg lighter than the Clio despite being a class bigger and would even make a base Toyota 86 look a bit of a bloater, despite seating five and packing a 200kW wallop. Coming from a 1.6-litre engine, that’s also the highest specific output of our field.
That gossamer kerb weight creates a virtuous circle in terms of dynamics. The 308 GTi rides beautifully, pulls up crisply on the brakes and makes the most of its power output, lapping quicker than the 221kW WRX STi and the 213kW Golf R. The initial impression is of polish and fluidity, the inherent suppleness of the suspension burnishing the Peugeot’s credentials as a fast road car. The Torsen helical limited-slip diff never feels quite as aggressive as that of the Civic or the i30 N, and there’s occasional tramlining from the 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sports, but that aside, it’s an instantly appealing package.
The EMP2 platform’s simpler and lighter torsion beam rear suspension isn’t quite as slick as a multi-link rear end, but the 308 GTi makes amends with a mighty front end, great body control and a powerplant that feels barrel-chested as long as you don’t dip below the turbo’s sweet spot.
The manual gearbox is slightly longer in throw than some here, but feels well-oiled and positive, although it can baulk if you try to rush the synchro. The pedal placement is probably the best of the bunch too. Switch the car into Sport and the sound signature makes heel and toeing so simple that at first you have to check to see whether the car is executing the perfect throttle blip on downchanges for you. The 380mm front discs and four-piston calipers are hugely reassuring once you’re dialled into the middle pedal’s short travel.
Of course, being a French car, there are the occasional ergonomic glitches, such as the way switching into Sport causes the digital speedo to vanish, retrievable by prodding the end of the left-hand stalk a few times. There were also a couple of annoying trim rattles.
The tiny, low-set steering wheel might also dissuade some. I love its roll-of-the-wrists directness and that feeling like you’re on a triathlon bike, measuring your inputs carefully. It makes the car feel precise and special, but for shorter drivers it can obscure the main dial pack. The rest of the cabin looks slick and a couple of our judges thought the minimalist architecture of the dash was the best executed of all gathered contenders. Yet space in the rear is tight and it feels meanly equipped, with no rear vents or power outlets, and the ride that feels so fluid up front is notably more fractious in the back.
Above all, the 308 GTi nails a brief of being fast, discreet and classy. The Volkswagen Golf R also delivers on that brief, but the Peugeot is notably quicker on a challenging road and, as long as you spec it tastefully, has that rare talent of flying under the radar. We love it, which is why it more than merits its podium position here.
Peugeot 308 GTi 270
LAP TIME: 1:04:7sec
Engine: 1598cc 4cyl, dohc, 16v, turbo
Power: 200kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 330Nm @ 1900-5500rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/35ZR19
Fuel consumption: 14.4L/100km (tested)
Power to weight: 166kW per tonne
0-100km/h: 6.0 sec (claimed)