The GTi nameplate first emerged on dedicated, almost track-oriented hot hatches, but a string of lesser models tagged GTi purely for marketing purposes tarnished buyer expectation. Thankfully the new Peugeot 308 GTi is in the mould of those originals.
Appealing power/weight ratio
At 1250kg the 4dr GTi is light for a well-equipped hatch with an appealing power/weight ratio of just 6kg/kW. It sits 11mm lower than a standard 308. The 1.6L 4cyl engine receives a hefty turbo boost of 36psi and a massive direct fuel injection pressure of 200-bar. Delivering 200kW and 330Nm equates to an amazing specific power output of 125kW/litre and claimed acceleration of 0-100km/h in just six seconds. Bringing that to a standstill is an up-rated braking system with 380mm front rotors and 235/35 R19 tyres.
While either of the two 308 GTi models will put a smile on your face when you get behind the wheel, they’re not stripped-out racers.
There’s a user-friendly cabin and dash layout with its instrument binnacle raised above steering wheel height, aided by a head-up display. The top-spec GTi 270 from is the one for a club sport challenge, because in addition to an extra 16kW it comes with sports bucket seats, larger Michelin tyres, bigger carbon disc brakes and a Torsen limited-slip differential.
The 184kW GTi 250 from $44,990 is a value package that loses little in power and performance and has the same comprehensive list of standard comfort, convenience and safety equipment.
PEUGEOT 308 GTi 270
Talking points: A true GTi, easy-to-live-with cabin layout, equipped for track work
Mechanicals: 1598cc turbo-petrol engine. 6spd manual. 200kW, 330Nm. 6.0L/100km, 95-98 fuel.
Standard safety: 6 airbags. Reversing camera. Tyre-pressure monitoring.
Standard features: dual-zone climate control. Sat-nav. Head-up display. 6.9GB jukebox audio.
Price: $49,990 + $4420 ORC (est.). Range $44,990-$49,990 + ORC.