Prices set for Pug per­former

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - CHRIS RI­LEY chris.ri­ley@news.com.au

PEU­GEOT reck­ons it has trimmed the start­ing price for its new 308 GTi but the French hot hatch will still cost more than a Volk­swa­gen GTI when it ar­rives early next year.

Lo­cal ex­ec­u­tives orig­i­nally said the GTi would cost be­tween $45,000 and $55,000 but af­ter dis­cus­sions with head of­fice at the re­cent in­ter­na­tional launch of the car, the price has been pruned to sneak in be­low the low­est es­ti­mate at $44,990 for the GTi 250 and $49,990 for the more pow­er­ful version.

That still slots the Pug in above a host of im­pres­sive hot hatches.

The Golf GTI starts from $40,990, the Ford Fo­cus ST $38,990, the Holden As­tra VXR $39,990 and the Re­nault Me­gane 265 $43,990.

But de­spite the price, Peu­geot is al­ready hold­ing or­ders, even be­fore the books of­fi­cially open at the start of De­cem­ber.

The 308 GTi by Peu­geot Sport comes in two states of tune — the GTi 250 with 184kW and the GTi 270 with 200kW — but torque is the same, 330Nm.

Peu­geot shares the 1.6-litre four-cylin­der turbo with BMW and Mini. It is a de­vel­op­ment of the pow­er­plant in the RCZ sports car.

The not-so-good news is that, in com­mon with the 208 GTi be­fore it, the front-wheel drive 308 GTi comes as a sixspeed man­ual only, a prospect that won’t thrill city dwellers.

But Peu­geot-Citroen buy­ers lean to man­u­als, with 15 to 22 per cent of buy­ers favour­ing a man­ual over the past two years.

“It’s a per­for­mance hatch and given this badge we are hope­ful it will res­onate here,” a spokesman says.

Peu­geot expects the GTi 270 to ac­count for 60 per cent of sales.

The 308 GTi de­vel­ops more power and is quicker out of the gates than the Golf, with 0100km/h tak­ing just 6.0 sec­onds in the 270. The VW takes 6.5 sec­onds (or 6.4 sec­onds in the Per­for­mance model) but has a dual clutch auto.

Peu­geot na­tional mar­ket­ing man­ager Dim­itri An­drea­tidis says the 308 GTi brings an iconic badge back to a leg­endary seg­ment. “The 308 GTi sig­nals more than the re­launch of Peu­geot per­for­mance prod­uct and it sig­ni­fies the grow­ing im­por­tance of Aus­tralia for Peu­geot, with the ve­hi­cle avail­able in lim­ited coun­tries,” he says.

“We are ex­cited about the re­turn of the GTi badge to the hot hatch seg­ment and be­lieve it will res­onate with Aus­tralians and their ap­petite for sports and per­for­mance prod­uct, offering fun, ef­fi­cient, en­joy­able, com­fort­able and a thor­oughly en­gag­ing drive ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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