by Jez Spinks

A genuine Peugeot 308 GTI hot-hatch, a luxury-focused 308 XY and a range-topping Peugeot 208 R are all set for production as the French brand extends its model ranges upwards.

Peugeot is planning to create a sub-set of more upmarket variants among some of its models, comprising a mix of four badges: XY for luxury, Air for hybrid, GTI for sportiness and R for its raciest cars.

The company says it plans to extend both the GTI badge beyond the 208 GTI that launches internationally in April as well as the R badge that features on the upcoming RCZ R, a 260hp version of Peugeot’s Audi TT coupe rival.

“Is spirit of GTI only a one shot? No,” Peugeot’s director of product communciations, Christophe Chateau, told CarAdvice at the Geneva show. “We have the objective of moving upmarket for the Peugeot brand so GTI is one of these products we want to have for this.

“But it is not the only [product]. At Paris 2012 we had the RCZ R [pictured below]. That’s another proposal in that segment.

“…We have two good engines: 200hp [with GTI] and 260hp [with R]. So you can imagine for the future we will have some other versions.

Peugeot RCZ R concept

Chateau said the R badge could be used beyond the RCZ and admitted a 208 R model to sit above the 208 GTI was possible. The company has already told CarAdvice the 208 GTI will be closer in spirit to the 205 GTI than the 206 or 207 versions.

A broad range for the new-generation 308 due later this year will also materialise, with GTI and XY variants certain and an R variant possible.

A GTI version of the outgoing 308 has been offered in Europe but was more of a highly specified variant rather than a genuine Volkswagen Golf GTI rival despite its circa-150kW 1.6-litre turbo engine.

Expect a far more sportier approach, especially visually, with the new Peugeot 308 GTI, says the company.

“In future the 308 GTi will be more like the [new] 208 GTI [below],” said Chateau. “The lightness is very important. The key point of the GTi was the agility. And I think when you test the new model you will find the agility is back.

“The 308 will be more than 100kg lighter [than its predecessor]. [It’s a] similar philosophy to [the] 207 and 208 [transition].

Peugeot 208 GTI profile

“Thanks to the new modular platform that is very efficient, without any compromise on safety … just with that we will gain 70kg [in weight savings]. So you can imagine that with new engines what this will do [for performance and efficiency].”

Those engines will include three-cylinder units, while Peugeot is also looking to introduce hybrid ‘Air’ variants.

The company unveiled its hybrid air technology at the 2013 Geneva motor show that employs a compressed air cylinder rather than a battery pack to [summary explanation].

  • Zaccy16

    Hopefully peugeot can pull it off and change their retirees image, the 308 will require alot of work to  fix the steering and handling

  • Modern Man

    There seems to be a lot of ‘Imagine what it could be/do’.

    We dont want to imagine, we want reality.

  • renard argente

    After Peugeot spent millions of dollars on winning a number of WRCs, I’ve been waiting for a performance model 308 to take advantage of what their engineers MUST have learnt re performance, but to no avail. The top spec models here are only auto diesels without even the option of manuals.
    Agree with Zaccy16. My adult children refer to Peugeots as “….cars old men drive”.
    If Peugeot doesn’t produce performance models, & Sime Darby doesn’t import them / offer top spec models with the option of manual, then, after nearly 30 yrs driving Pugs, I’m changing to a manufacturer who meets the market. Hello Skoda Octavia RS, VW Golf GTI to name 2.