16 April 2015

A hatch from Peugeot that drives like a supercar

Peugeot is to produce a four-wheel drive 308 R hatchback model, equipped with a plug-in petrol hybrid unit boasting a whopping 500bhp, and that drives like a supercar, writes Trish Whelan. It has been specially developed by Peugeot Sport and borrows design codes from the Peugeot Quartz concept car shown in 2012.

Inside is a stretched central console and four bucket seats. The upper fittings and roof lining are slate grey while, the seats come in fawn-coloured perforated leather, and in true sporting tradition, there are touches of red around the dials, steering wheel centre and the central console.

Using 235/35 R19 tyres and set on tracks that have been widened by 80mm, the 308 R Hybrid devours the road. The compact steering wheel, bearing the 308 R Hybrid logo, allows for precise, incisive positioning when cornering. Steering wheel paddles give the driver finger-tip control over the six-speed gearbox.

A toggle button the central console is used to select one of four driving modes: Hot Lap (the most powerful and utilising maximum torque of 730 Nm), Track, and Zero emissions mode.

There are three sources of power: a 4-cylinder petrol 1.6 THP 270 S&S engine, with the highest special power rating in the world for this engine size; an electric motor with power of 85 kW/115bhp, linked to the 6-speed gearbox; and an electric motor. The Lithium-Ion 3 kWh battery is under the rear seats in place of the fuel tank which has been placed in the boot above the rear electric motor and the two transformers.

The car has its speed limited electronically at 250km/h, delivers 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds. In spite of all that, C02 emissions are just 70g/km (A0 Zero).

This 308 R Hybrid version will become the brand's icon in the future.