Peugeot’s 308 R HYbrid is the hot hatch you will never get


Developed by Peugeot Sport – the French company’s in-house racing and engineering division. The 308 R HYbrid hatchback combines three power units to give supercar performance. The car is set to be unveiled at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show. At this time, it is just a concept with no plans of production.

Peugeot 308R Hybrid

The body is not outlandish or overtly sporty. But is well balanced and conveys the purpose effectively. One of the reasons for this understated approach might have to do with the fact that it’s an environmentally friendly hybrid with a claimed carbon emission of just 70g/km. Don’t let that hybrid badge fool you, the 308 R HYbrid has been created to devour the road and tear up the track. It’s face bears a dynamic and imposing stance. The bonnet gets louvres for ventilation, same as the huge air intakes on the bumper. The sides get 235/35 section tyres riding on 19-inch rims and white painted side skirts adding to the overall dynamic appearance. The rear is quite simple and the only performance element to be seen is the tailgate spoiler. There are also twin air vents at the back which serve to keep the battery cool. The paint scheme is dual tone with blue on the front section and Matte Black taking the rear. The blue is made using fluorescent pigments and glass particles, it also the colour which symbolises the hybrid powertrain and is the preferred shade of French racing cars. The interiors get Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ instrumentation and four individual sports seats, draped in fawn-coloured patinated leather. The upper fittings and roof lining are done in Slate Grey with sporty red embellishments added for good measure.

Peugeot 308R HYbrid rear

Let’s get to the performance, which when viewed in context to its size is bombastic. There are a total of three units that provide power to this beast. First is a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine producing 270 bhp. The other two are electric motors mounted one on each axle with a single motor dishing out 115 bhp. Transmission is a six-speed unit with paddle shifters, to which the front motor is also connected. Peugeot says that this hybrid gives a combined output of 500 bhp. Now here’s the scary part, peak torque is a dizziness-inducing 730 Nm. That sort of hauling power in a small hatchback apparently leads to incredible performance. Throw in all-wheel drive and what you get is a 0 to 100 kmph (62 mph) drag time of 4.0 seconds. Speedometer maxes out at an electronically limited 155 mph (250 kmph).

Peugeot 308R HYbrid front

Brakes have been installed in proportion with the performance, 380mm ventilated discs are found upfront while 290mm discs slacken speed at the rear wheels. These brakes though, are not used every time. Peugeot Sport has designed the powertrain in such a way that it decelerates, using the electric motors throughout the full speed range, effective from 155mph. This exercise extends the life of discs and brake pads while regenerative braking allows charging of batteries.

This is what Bruno Famin, Director at Peugeot Sport had to say, “Peugeot Sport’s expertise applies an uncompromising approach to meeting targets. With our experience in hybrid vehicles developed with the PEUGEOT 908, the high-performance hybrid powertrain fitted to the 308 gives a glimpse of the potential for ultra-sports models in the future.”

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