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November 25, 2015 Comments (0) Views: 488 Motoring

February launch for 308 GTi

WALK up to the calendar on the wall. Do it right now. Across December write the words ‘308 GTi’ and stand back and admire your handy work. Right, now turn to February 2016, and again write ‘308 GTi’ and of course follow the steps as outlined previously.

What you have just done is highlight the pre-order and delivery months for the much anticipated brand new 308 GTi from Peugeot Sport. While you stand there in awe of this information, you are also genuinely old-school spun out that these cars – yes there’s two of them – will hit the show rooms at under $50K – and one of them pumps out a whopping 200kW.

The 308 GTi will be available in two specifications and with two states of tune; the 184kW 308 GTi 250 will carry a recommended retail price of $44,990, while the 200kW 308 GTi 270 will carry an RRP of $49,990 (both plus on-roads).

Now while the price and the power information is cool, there’s more.

The beating heart of the 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport is a Euro 6-compliant 1.6-litre THP S&S (stop-start) turbo charged engine, available in outputs of 184kW and 200kW – enough to see the vehicle accelerate to 100km/h in as little as six-seconds (6.2 for the 184kW drive train). Both versions develop peak torque of 330Nm at just 1900rpm and feature six-speed manual transmissions.

The GTi 270 version has everything required to rein in the power, with race-developed 380mm ventilated discs mounted on aluminium hubs at the front. Braking force is applied via four pistons (38mm and 41mm) in a fixed caliper and the rear discs have a diameter of 268mm.

The pseudo-MacPherson strut in the front operates with precision, while the rear axle with its twist-beam system ensures brilliant handling and ride prowess. These components also help reduce the weight of the 308 GTi, in addition to a semi-hollow anti-roll bar and aluminium wishbones.

The entire vertical suspension system in the front is specific to the new 308 GTi, and includes bespoke spring stiffness and shock absorber calibration. The anti-roll bar is more malleable to ensure a better match with the rear axle that enhances grip while cornering to increase road holding.

Exclusive to the GTi 270 version is an accomplished Torsen limited-slip differential incorporated into the transmission to improve cornering traction. By channeling the torque to the wheel with the highest grip it makes it more able to accelerate faster out of bends than would normally be the case.

The on-board electronics are in keeping with the GTi’s athletic temperament. The power steering is designed specifically to work in conjunction with the Torsen technology. The limited-slip differential also draws on new traction control guidelines to ensure optimal implementation, while sportier ESP programming allows more latitude, with enhanced drift on bends. The ESP can even be fully disconnected.

Inside you’ll find red stitching is used on the upholstery, door panels, gear lever and luxury floor mats. The door sill carries the GTi signature and is finished in aluminium. The same material is used on the pedals, foot rest and gear knob. In the top-spec GTi 270 version, the Peugeot Sport bucket seats are upholstered in Alcantara with red stitching providing cosseting lateral support to ensure the driver feels at one with the car at all times.

The compact steering wheel offers strong grip and precision, with a full-grain leather design featuring the GTi logo at the bottom and a red centering mark at the top. It also leaves plenty of room to see the head-up display over it, housing the instrument panel read-outs with chequered backdrops, and the GTi greeting at its centre.

The Peugeot i-Cockpit instrument concept has been an integral aspect of the 308’s appeal with a centrally-mounted, driver-facing touch-screen offers ergonomic convenience and state-of-the-art functionality, with the Redline theme adding a final touch of flair. Adding to the performance experience is the standard fitment of the Driver Sport Pack.

Pressing the Sport button on the centre console changes the display from white to red, shows additional information on the central read-out (power, torque, boost, lateral and longitudinal acceleration), enhances the engine’s throaty growl and changes accelerator pedal mapping for a more engaging driving experience.

Outside the car boasts exclusive styling front and rear the car sits 11mm lower than the standard 308. The nose features full LED headlamps, flanking a new black radiator grille with a horizontal chequered pattern and gloss-black finishing. The same motif is echoed on the air intake, which is surrounded by sequential LED indicators and a red detail strip (chrome on Ultimate Red cars).

In profile the redesigned door sill hints at the car’s aggressive nature, while the sleek new rear design features a gloss-black section housing the twin exhaust pipes. The GTi signature of the car is clearly visible on the front wings and tailgate.

A ‘Coupe Franche’ two-tone design is exclusive to the GTi 270 version and contrasts the vibrant new ‘Ultimate Red’ colour with Nera Black. The 308 GTi is also available in the new Ultimate Red, Pearlescent White, Magnetic Blue, Nera Black, Cumulus Grey as well as the standard colour, a non-metallic Hurricane Grey.

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