The muscled Peugeot 308 R HYbrid hatchback could make it to production as a performance flagship model for the French brand’s go-fast arm.
Peugeot Sport has already launched the 208 GTI and 308 GTI models, and according to Guillaume Couzy, Peugeot marketing and communication director, an even more manic, petrol-electric performance hatch could form part of the range.
“You might have seen that recently we presented in Frankfurt a car that we call the 308 R HYbrid, which is developed also by Peugeot Sport engineers but with hybrid and electronic engines and with 500 horsepower,” Couzy said. Indeed, Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat recently tweeted images of PSA chief Carlos Tavares testing out a production-ready-looking 308 R HYbrid.
The 308 R HYbrid concept model pairs a 201kW petrol engine with two electric motors – one at the front and one at the rear – to give the all-wheel-drive hyper hatch outputs of 373kW of power and 730Nm of torque.
Couzy said that nothing had been confirmed at this point in time, but suggested that Peugeot Sport has been wowed by the positive response.
“We don’t know yet but we are studying very seriously because we’ve seen the reaction to this car of journalists but also customers and social networks, so we think that’s really an interesting car.
“So we are keeping on studying the possibilities, the economic viability. Technical, of course technically it is possible because we have already done it, but we need to see the business case and then we will decide to do it. Or not.
“But obviously it will be very interesting in terms of image for the Peugeot brand,” he said.
As for other Peugeot Sport models, Couzy suggested that further Peugeot Sport performance spin-offs are possible in the years to come.
“Could be because we already have with 208, now with 308, so we don’t put limits at this stage.
“I mean there is no limit to their imagination,” he said of the Peugeot Sport engineering team.
“So according to the projects they are going to present us, we will say yes or no, and tell them to do it. It’s very interesting because they are very quick, efficient and they can develop things in such a big firm that we are. It’s not so easy to do so quickly and so efficiently.”
However, when asked if a standalone Peugeot Sport model – such as a production version of that eye-catching Onyx supercar from a few years back – could be one such offering, Couzy made it clear that wasn’t going to be the case.
“Standalone? No. [The cars must sit] inside the Peugeot brand,” he said. “Because globally what we want is to capitalize on Peugeot Sport knowhow and history in order to bring the image to our brand.
“I would say that we are more in the strategy more like, for example, Mercedes-Benz is [Mercedes-AMG], or BMW is [BMW M], which is we call our engineers from Peugeot Sport to work on our very sporty versions, but we want them to be fully Peugeot and to bring spirit to the Peugeot brand.”