Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport

Peugeot's return to hot hatchery since the 208 GTi made the French carmaker to explore new heights with the arrival of the brand new 308 GTi, their most potent version of the second-generation Peugeot 308 hatchback. Would the VW Golf GTi had something to worry about?

2016 Peugeot 308 GTi

Generally, yes, because with the new 308 GTi, Peugeot managed to venture the hot hatch world with brave new heights because this is essentially the most powerful Peugeot hot hatch ever made and for some, this new hot hatch wants to draw inspiration from the legendary Peugeot 306 S16, the hatchback that set benchmarks for French hot hatches, but truth be told, it's a lot more than that.

It's powered by a 1.6L THP engine that delivers a much tangible 270HP of power output. With that kind of power output, it's an undeniable fact that this is much more powerful than the Golf GTi and the Ford Focus ST, but less than the ultimate Golf, the Golf R. Mated exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox, it does 0-100kph in less than six seconds and onwards to an electronically limited 250kph.

Either way, even though the 308 GTi has some big power under its small engine, the handling that has been the key point of hot hatches is still there. Thanks to the available Driver Sport Pack, the new GTi feels as livelier as Peugeot's past hot hatchbacks that dates back to the iconic 205 GTi, meaning it's a great car to drive on a track day and it doesn't matter if you're not concentrating. It maybe mild on the driving dynamics but it feels very accessible to handle and even if you're a track-shy rookie, it feels not so bad. However, while the GTi is focused to be a track weapon, driving on normal roads will have a different experience and because of its stiffened suspension, you may find driving one on the city streets to be a stressful experience, especially on heavy traffic.

Anyway, should you buy one? The new Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport starts at 37,200 Euros, which sounds like a lot for a Peugeot but less expensive than the Golf R, which is not what you call a smart buy but either way, the 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport is the ideal hot hatch to drive on a track day and if you wouldn't mind the stiffened suspension that caused so much drama on the normal roads, it is a fantastic addition to your garage.

Photo: PSA Peugeot Citroen

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