Peugeot has expressed interest in creating a hot hotch to sit above the Golf GTI-rivalling 308 GTi, potentially in the form of a model to rival the widely successful Ford Focus RS.
Speaking with Autocar, Peugeot boss Jean-Philippe Imparato confirmed that a new range-topping hot hatch is possible, designed to act as the brand’s halo model in place of the discontinued RCZ coupe.
“There is space for something. I don’t have a solution but I am on it. We are very involved in competition sport, like Dakar, and we don’t want to lose this space with our cars. I don’t think we will develop an RCZ replacement. On each level of our range — 308, 208 — we will have something impressive in performance. Do we work on a new RCZ or on the fact that the next 308 will be a beast?” he said.
One possible solution to Peugeot’s quandary could be a production version of the crazy 493 hp 308 R Hybrid concept. That car is powered by a 266 hp 1.6-liter engine joined by two electric motors and making for a wildly rapid hatchback capable of hitting 62 mph (100 km/h) in as little as four seconds.
Although Peugeot hasn’t announced any intention of making the 308 R Hybrid concept a road-going reality, it is likely that if it does reach dealerships, it will be detuned slightly to produce around 400 hp, putting it on par with the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3 Sportback.