We get to review the 308 GTI, superb handling and amazing to drive… Our friends at Peugeot asked if we would like a GTi for a week, of course we accepted and were privileged to have driven this stunning hot hatch. Words & Photos: John Buchan.
NEW CAR TEST 2019 PEUGEOT 308 GTI THP 270 REVIEW
Peugeot very kindly gave me a 2019 Peugeot 308 GTi THP 270 to review and what a thrill, in stunning pearlescent white rather than the new two tone paint style of the Coupe Franche model. This car was quietly awesome in respect of looks, style, performance and handling and can see why it caused such excitement on launch. Peugeot went the whole hog on PR with this and to quote them, “Peugeot Sports expert engineers, who share the same passion for performance, were tasked with the development of a GTi version of 308. The end result, Peugeot GTi by Peugeot Sport”. To use such confident words needs substance and after a week of driving this 270 Bhp machine I totally absorb the quote.
This car looks the real deal, the subtle red GTi on the front wings, tailgate, door sills wet the appetite before starting it up. The super light 19” Carbone two tone alloy wheels impress adorned with the mega grip Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, the twin exhaust and black rear diffuser just magnify the looks no end. On the front the enlarged grill with unique design compliments the red detailed bottom section with the impressively sized air intake sandwiched between. It really does give a true sports racer look particularly in the colour scheme I had.
Inside the cab small touches like the Peugeot sport embroidery on the bucket seats, the finely stitched red stripe on the steering wheel and the manly gear knob further add to the subtleties. All in all a stylish interior to match the exterior looks.
Peugeot state that this is the most powerful production engine of its class and I quickly found this out. The hugely capable engine took me for a ride, the acceleration was frighteningly superb, feeling the torque through the front wheels immediately impressed and I was smitten. The cornering ability was astonishing via the grip given and the Torsen Limited slip differential which allows the car to accelerate faster as it exits bends, my first impressions were I want one and how soon can I get one.
The braking was incredible, on the front were 380mm ventilated discs with four pot calipers, the rear had 268mm discs. The stopping ability was powerful and immediate whatever the circumstance or situation. The fun and allure of driving in Sport mode meant I had it in this mode for 90 % of the time I had it, it was just too good a drive to miss out on. This was the first time I have seen the Driver Sport Pack, This technology increases the responsiveness of the engine and gearbox to the accelerator pedal, changes the instrument panels and increases the volume of the sound. The sound system was impressive and this along with most of the other controls were accessed through the 9.7” LCD display screen situated nicely at arm’s length. The raised speedo/ information display sat nicely with good visibility above the small hand stitched steering wheel.
There is plenty of room inside the 308 GTi and have no doubt it could comfortably accommodate 4 adults. I would gladly have kept this GTi but unfortunately had to hand it back. I would recommend to anyone if it’s a hot hatch full of class, style, performance and handling you are after, then look no further than this…a stunning performance car.
THE STATS 308 GTi THP 270 ( 0-62 in 6.0 seconds)
TUNING Mahle Lightweight Race Pistons Borgwarner twin scroll turbo charger
CHASSIS Torsen Limited slip Differential 380mm (front) 268 mm (rear) brake discs, Peugeot signature sport brake Calipers in Red
STYLING Large Twin Exhaust and black Rear Diffuser Radiator Grill Chequered Flag design 19” Carbone two tone Diamond Cut Alloys Lowered ride height ( by 11mm) GTi emblems INTERIOR GTi bucket seats GTi door sill finishes 3.5 inch GTi instrument panel display Leather Effect seat trim with red overstitch Massage Function on Seats
DRIVER SPORT PACK Increases responsiveness of the engine and gearbox to the accelerator pedal. Changes instrument panel colour to red (from white) Displays vehicle dynamic parameters – acceleration, power delivery, turbo Amplifies engine sound in the cabin.
3.5 inch display sport mode screen.
“White, red and black colours go beautifully”
“These menacing looking twin exhaust tips”