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by Tim Beissmann

The Peugeot 308 R concept has been revealed ahead of its debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, previewing a future production hot-hatch from the French manufacturer.

The 308 R concept inherits its turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the new RCZ R performance coupe, producing 201kW of power at 6000rpm and 330Nm of torque at 1900-5500rpm.

A six-speed manual transmission sends drive to the front wheels via a limited slip differential. Peugeot has not released performance times, though specs similar to its compatriot, the Renault Megane RS265, should see the 308 R concept accelerate from 0-100km/h in roughly six seconds.

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Peugeot claims combined cycle fuel consumption of 6.3 litres per 100km, a result of the high-performance engine’s small capacity and a range of weight-saving measures across the body.

The 308 R concept’s doors, front wings, body sides and sills, bonnet and bumpers are constructed from carbonfibre, with only the roof and tailgate retained from the production car.

An aggressively styled front end with three deep intakes covers a 30mm-wider track. The body sits 26mm closer to the ground than the standard hatchback. Bespoke 19-inch alloy wheels house 380mm front and 330mm rear brake discs with four-piston calipers.

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A racy red and black finish gives the 308 R concept a unique character, with a split personality between the front and rear.

Full LED headlights flank a broad trapezoidal grille with intricate horizontal crossbars, while six vertical LED tail-light strips takes the form of claws in a rear-end design Peugeot describes as a cat ready to pounce. Wider rear wings, a muscular bumper and twin exhaust outlets give the 308 R concept a more pronounced stance.

The cabin follows a design concept called ‘Peugeot i-Cockpit’, which aims to optimise the driving position. A compact steering wheel saves weight and claims to enhance agility. The instrument panel is designed to be seen over, rather than through, the steering wheel, while a 9.7-inch touchscreen combines all of the concept’s infotainment functions.

Peugeot says the 308 R hot-hatch is only a concept at this stage, though like the RCZ R concept, it’s expected to spawn a largely identical production version sometime in 2014.

The Frankfurt motor show kicks off on September 10.




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