Recently we headed to Portuguese city Porto, to test Peugeots latest hot hatch offering. The all new Peugeot 308GTi by Peugeot Sport is ready to take us for a tour around the mountainous landscape carved out by the Douro river. Over 30 years have passed since Peugeot first introduced the iconic 205GTi to critical acclaim. Peugeot’s latest offering, based on the successful 308, comes with development from their motorsport arm PeugeotSport. The Peugeot 308 GTi is available in two specifications, the 250 and 270.
The Peugeot 308GTi comes in two specifications. Both are powered by the Peugeot Sport developed 1.6-litre THP engine. The 250 produces 250 hp at 6,000 rpm and 330 Nm of torque available between 1,900 and 4,000 rpm. The 270 produces 270 hp at 6,000 rpm and 330 Nm of torque between 1,900 and 5,500 rpm.
Both specs can run RON 95 and RON 98 fuel whilst delivering class-leading environmental credentials. CO2 emission and 139g/km with a combined cycle fuel economy of 47.0 mpg. Both versions are limited to 155mph (250km/h), with the 250 managing the 0-62 mph sprint in 6.2 seconds, while the 270 which hits 100 km/h in just 6 seconds. The latter being half a second quicker than its German rival, the Volkswagen Golf GTi.
Gearbox, Drivetrain & Suspension
The Peugeot 308GTi features a finely tuned 6-speed manual gearbox said to inspire dynamic driving and confidence.
The 270 comes fitted with a Torsen differential as standard. It has been designed to improve the cars cornering potential by channeling the torque towards the wheel with the greatest traction. This makes it possible to corner faster whilst also enhancing the grip. The power steering has been specifically designed to work with the Torsen diff, whilst the other electronics are designed to give precise feedback to the driver from each wheel. The sportier ESP design allows for more latitude, and drift on bends, whilst also having the ability to be fully turned off.
The Peugeot 308GTi uses a pseudo MacPherson strut at the front paired with a twist beam system at the rear. The front suspension has been designed specifically for the 308 GTi, and features stiffer front springs. Newly calibrated shock absorbers reduce noise, they kick in on the compression cycle when the driver is the only occupant of the vehicle. The anti-roll bar is also more malleable to ensure a better match with the rear axle.
The interior style is in-keeping with the exterior and is purposely sporty. Your eyes are immediately drawn to the 9.7” centrally mounted touch-screen that forms the centre point of the instrument panel. Next to that is the compact 351mm x 329mm steering wheel. The steering wheel is covered in full-grain leather with a red centre mark at the top, which gives a greater feel of the handling of the car. There is the obligatory GTi logo on the bottom of the steering wheel and a chequered backdrop on the instrument panel.
Pressing the Sport button mounted on the centre console switches the display colour from white to red, changes the accelerator mapping, enhances the engine noise and shows additional information on the central readout.
The Peugeot 308GTi is available in six distinctive colours, Ultimate Red, Pearlescent White, Magnetic Blue, Pearlescent Nera Black, Cumulus Grey and Hurricane Grey. The eye catching ‘Coupe Franche’ two-tone design is exclusive to the 270, contrasting Ultimate Red and Pearlescent Nera Black at a cost of £1,300.
Additionally, the front grill features Red “PEUGEOT” lettering, with sports side skirts and a twin pipe exhaust system pertruding from the black diffuser to go alongside the GTi badging. The 308GTi comes equipped with 19” ‘Carbone’ lightweight alloys, which weigh 2kg less than the standard alloys and are wrapped in Michelin Super Sports.
Upon our arrival at Porto International Airport we are greeted by the Peugeot team, and given a short briefing on what lays ahead for us over the following 24hrs. After some quick refreshments, we were handed the keys to a Hurricane Grey Peugeot 308 GTi 270 and sent on our way. With a navigation system filled with way-points, we headed down the A4 before diving off into the hills behind Porto. After an hour of weaving our way through the Portuguese country side, we arrived at our midway checkpoint, Casa Dos Moinhos Do Chão Do Mosteiro. With thunder cracking in the valley, we enjoyed some coffee and pastries whilst reflecting on our first experience of the 308GTi.
The new smaller steering, felt a bit strange for the first 30/45 minutes of our highway drive. We didn’t get a real chance to experience its heightened sense of control. But once we hit the twisty hilly roads, the more the new steering mechanism made sense.
Once we were suitable replenished, it was back into our Hurricane Grey 308 GTi 270, leaving Casa Dos Moinhos Do Chão Do Mosteiro behind and headed back down the hills to Porto. This second route featured more twists and turns to challenge the GTi’s handling, giving us a better feel of the car on the open road. The GTi handled this with ease, and in no time we were back down out of the Portuguese hills. A short stretch of highway was left to reach our accommodation for the night, the Pestana Palácio do Freixo Hotel in Porto.
The next morning, it was an early start to carve our way through the morning Porto rush hour traffic on our way to Kartodromo Internacional De Braga. Once at the track, we had another briefing from the Peugeot team, before being split into groups of five to hit the track. After a quick sighting lap, we were sat back in our 270 308GTi and ready to go out on track.
We had two stints out on track with the 308GTi, each consisting of an out lap, three flying laps and a cool down lap. Looking back on the track experience I found that the 308GTi, once up to speed, was a lively little hot hatch that was a lot of fun on track. Every lap that passed, I could not only feel my confidence rising, but my confidence in the car too. The power would come on nice and quickly when asked of it, and the brakes seemed manly enough to bring the car to a stop when needed in a quick fashion. As I said, as the confidence levels roused, the more I found myself pushing the car into the corners, and in return, the more I could feel the differential working to keep the car smooth and fast through the track’s turns.
The video below gives you an impression of our track experience with the Peugeot 308 GTi.
Once we had finished our track stints, it was then back onto the highway for a quick and last blast to the airport.
Looking back on the Peugeot 308GTi by PeugeotSport, it is a very enjoyable car. The 308 GTi is fast and responsive when pushed hard, comfortable and composed when you want a smoother journey. It is a big step forward for Peugeot’s GTi brand back to the top of the hot-hatch market. Our favourite specification would be the 270 variant in it’s Coupe Franche two-tone design. The 270 is now available at £28,155 in the UK, while the 250 is priced at £26,555.