Unleash the Pug
THERE is something very special about the newest Peugeot 308.
The classy compact has been given a hybrid boost with a giant twist, transforming it from a youth-appeal hatchback into an all-out supercar revealed at the Shanghai motor show this week.
The petrol-electric combination delivers more than 370kW and a 0-100km/h sprint in 4.0 seconds, but with CO2 emissions of just 70g/km.
The 308 R HYbrid Concept is one of the new-age highperformance hybrids taking over everywhere from Formula One and sports car racing to the top end of motoring.
Mercedes-Benz is dominating F1, Porsche is racing Audi and Toyota at Le Mans. The LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 are proving hybrids are the new power in supercars.
Peugeot’s effort is not as outrageous as the others. What’s impressive is the scope for the powertrain development to be shared through the PSA Group — Peugeot, Citroen and DS — in France.
“The high-performance hybrid powertrain fitted to the 308 gives a glimpse of the potential for ultra-sports models in the future,” says Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin.
The company’s motorsport division, which has run and won at Le Mans and in the World Rally Championship, was chosen to develop the car.
The starting point was a regular 308 hatch, which was quickly transformed with the petrol-electric powertrain, allwheel drive, and bodywork stretched to give a bigger footprint for 19-inch alloys and track-style Michelin tyres.
The technical tweaking also includes carbon-fibre panels, head-up instrument display, extra air intakes and subtle aero additions.
The 308 R is painted in the same vivid blue as the Quartz SUV concept for the Peugeot’s Shanghai display — with fluoro pigment and glass particles.
The car’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain augments a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with 85kW electric motors on each axle. The front electric motor is also linked to the car’s six-speed gearbox, activated by paddleshifters on the race-style wheel.
The Peugeot Sport input endows three driving modes — road, track and hot lap. These deliver at least 220kW/400Nm, with maximum outputs of 370kW/730Nm.
Peugeot Sport has no plans for a production car but is pleased with its work.
“It is down to our passion for a challenge and our desire for excellence. Peugeot 308 R HYbrid is part of a very select club ... reaching 0-100km/h in four seconds,” says powertrain chief Jean-Philippe Delaire.
But as Peugeot accelerates its hybrid development, there is still no plan for a petrol-electric contender in Australia.
“There are a couple of hybrids available in France, but we need to determine if they are suitable and if we have the right support in Australia,” says Peugeot’s Tyson Bowen. “So this car is more a demonstration of our potential future drivetrains.”