We recently posted a video review of the all-new Peugeot 308, where we said it gave us the impression that it’s still not a complete match for the class leaders, and its biggest rival is (still) the Opel/Vauxhall Astra. However, there’s one thing still missing from the formula: a hot hatch derivative.
That of course will chance soon, as Peugeot has already been spotted testing what looks distinctly like a GTi version of the new model. The old 308 GTi was the hot hatch that nobody wanted, being a bit too big, and a tad underpowered with only 200 hp.
Now, if the 308 really wants to take the fight to the Astra and stand a chance of winning, then it needs a fire-breathing version too, with a lot more horsepower than the old GTi. They showed off the 308 R concept in Frankfurt, but up until now, we did not find a word of it being put into production…
Now we do, courtesy of Top Gear UK. It is mentioned that upon speaking to the company’s chief executive, Maxime Picat, a production-spec 308 R that would retain the 266 hp engine was put forth as a very strong possibility. His exact words were: “We will create specific high-line versions of our cars. For example the 208 GTi and RCZ R. There is room for a 308 R that uses the same engine as the concept car at Frankfurt.”
Naturally, not even a hint of a release date was given, but it might be delayed as the R needs to be preceded by the GTi first – Peugeot will probably make the final decision regarding the R once they see how well the hot 308 does once it goes on sale during the course of next year.
By Andrei Nedelea