Peugeot South Africa has extended its 308 hatchback range with the release of the 308 GT. The five-door hatchback assumes a flagship role, augmenting the existing Active and GT Line derivatives, while bringing added dynamic capability to the multi-award-winning 308 range.
The five-door 308 GT easily stands out from the hatchback crowd by building on the sleek, aerodynamic shape of the 308, but with embellishments aimed at expressing the car’s assertive, dynamic character.
In front, the grille features a new, three-blade design with the Peugeot Lion prominently displayed in the centre. The advanced headlights contain 62 separate LED elements, while arced LED daytime running lights create further visual impact.
The lower bumper section is home to a larger air intake, with additional, generous cooling apertures on either side. In profile, the gloss black finish of the exterior mirrors is a stand-out feature, as are the dark-tinted windows and blacked-out B-pillar.
Subtle sill extensions underline the 308 GT’s low, wide stance, which is further emphasised by the new 18-inch alloy wheels and low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. The rear view is dominated by a new, gloss black apron and stylised exhaust tailpipes, while the LED tail light clusters display Peugeot’s trademark three-claw lighting signature.
The interior continues the GT’s sporty, exclusive theme. The roof lining and B-pillar trim features an anthracite colour scheme, while the bucket seats feature leather bolsters with Alcantara inserts and red stitching.
The same red stitching creates a contrasting highlight on the door panels, gear lever gaiter and the leather-trimmed steering wheel. Aluminium-trimmed pedals and stainless steel sill finishers add to the cabin’s dynamic ambience.
The 308’s i-Cockpit is perfectly suited to the more performance-focused GT model. The compact, flat-bottomed steering wheel is height and reach adjustable, ensuring a clear view of the analogue instruments, as well as the large, full-colour touch-screen display.
Exclusive to the GT is a chequered flag-inspired background for the instrument panel, and a new red-and-black colour scheme, known as Redline, for the touchscreen. Instrument illumination is red, too.
An innovative standard feature is Driver Sport Pack, which delivers sportier engine note, firms up the electric power steering, sharpens throttle response, and offers an extended display showing power and torque delivered, turbo pressure, and longitudinal and transverse acceleration. The Driver Sport Pack can be switched deactivated for a more comfortable driving experience.
At the heart of the new 308 GT is a 1.6 THP four-cylinder engine linking exceptional efficiency to generous power output. The high pressure-turbocharged 1 598 cc unit has a rated maximum output of 151 kW, achieved at 6 000 r/min, while the torque peak of 285 Nm is reached at just 1 750 r/min.
The result is rapid performance, with a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 7,5 seconds, and a 235 km/h top speed. Of particular note is the gearbox, which is a six-speed manual transmission to allow full use of the torque spread, sustained between 1 750 and 4 500 r/min.
The engine’s generous output and tractability isn’t achieved at the expense of fuel economy, though. Combined cycle fuel consumption is just 5,6 litres/100 km. That figure suggests a range of 950 km from the 53-litre fuel tank.
The 308 GT’s suspension layout will be familiar from the 308 Active and GT Line models: a front MacPherson strut-based configuration is combined with a deformable torsion beam rear set-up. The configuration may be the same, but the execution has been specifically adapted for the GT model.
Changes include shock absorbers with revised rates for improved composure, while the spring rates are stiffer than before, allowing instant response. The 225/40 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres provide enhanced traction and steering response, too.
To match the new 308 GT’s performance gains, the braking system has undergone vital upgrades, too. Braking effort is distributed between all four wheels via a Bosch 9CE control system that includes ABS anti-lock control, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency braking assistance (EBA).
The generous 330 mm front discs are linked to floating callipers with 60 mm pistons, while the rear discs measure 268 mm in diameter.
The 308 GT offers a comprehensive array of standard passive safety features include six airbags (front, side and curtain), inertia reel seat belts, head restraints for all seating positions, and IsoFix child seat toddlers.
The Peugeot 308 GT reaches South African showroom floors in limited quantities this month. The recommended retail price is R369 900 which includes a three-year / 100 000 warranty, and a five-year/100 000 km full Premium Maintenance Plan.