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by Tim Beissmann

Australia will get both versions of the new Peugeot 308 GTi when the French hot hatch arrives in local showrooms early next year.

Peugeot Australia general manager John Startari today confirmed the local division would offer both the ‘250’ and ‘270’ variants of the 308 GTi from the first quarter of 2016.

The 308 GTi will give Peugeot Australia a high-performance rival for the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance and R siblings, as well as the Ford Focus ST and Renault Megane RS265/275, among others.

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Developed in conjunction with Peugeot Sport, the Peugeot 308 GTi is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine. The GTi 250 (for 250hp) produces 182kW of power, while the uprated GTi 270 variant makes a meaty 200kW. Both produce 330Nm of torque between 1900-5000rpm, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

The 308 GTi 250 accelerates from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds, while the 270 cuts that down to 6.0sec. The 270 gets larger 380mm front brake discs for added stopping power and red-painted calipers.

The flagship 308 GTi also uniquely gets a Torsen limited-slip differential for improved cornering traction.

GTi 250 models wear 18-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres, while the GTi 270 gets larger 19-inch wheels with Michelin Super Sport rubber.

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The 308 GTi 270 is also available with an exclusive two-tone exterior design with Ultimate Red gloss and Nera Black matt paint previously seen on the 208 GTi 30th Anniversary model.

Sporty interior touches include red stitching across the upholstery, door panels, gear lever and floor mats, and aluminium for the pedals, foot rest and gear knob.

The 270 model gets Peugeot Sport bucket seats upholstered with Alcantara, while both get the Sport button, which, when pressed, changes the interior illumination from white to red, shows additional information on the central read-out (power, torque, boost, and lateral and longitudinal acceleration), enhances the engine note and changes the throttle mapping for a claimed “more engaging” driving experience.

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Startari said Peugeot has target prices in mind for both 308 GTi variants, but declined to give an indication of just how each would be positioned when they land here within the next six months.

Currently, the Peugeot 308 GT warm hatch costs $41,990 for the petrol manual model and $42,990 for the diesel auto, meaning both GTi variants will be positioned above them.

Given its performance stats, the 308 GTi will need to be priced in the ballpark of the front-drive Golf GTI Performance DSG ($46,490), the all-wheel-drive Golf R manual ($52,740), and the Renault’s Megane RS range: 265 Cup Premium ($47,990), 275 Cup Premium $52,990, 275 Trophy ($52,990), 275 Trophy-R ($61,990).

Startari said the local division is enormously excited about adding another model to its iconic GTi family.

“The launch of the 308 GTi signals Peugeot is back and we are back doing what we do best: offering fun, efficient, enjoyable, comfortable and, in the case of 308 GTi, thoroughly engaging performance vehicles,” Startari said.

“The 308 GTi will certainly give hot hatch customers a reason to look forward to 2016.”




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