Since marking a return to its form with the 208 GTi, Peugeot Sport has sprinkled their magic on the latest 308 to create not one but two variants of the 308 GTi. Less than a year after revealing the “warm” 308 GT, the 308 GTi now takes the crown as the sportiest 308 yet.
We could agree if you can’t tell the GTi apart from the normal 308. It’s even harder to distinguish between the GT and the GTi, because they both share almost the same kit. Almost.
Like the 308 GT, the 308 GTi gets a discreet upgrade that consists of a new nose, bumpers, skirts, and wheels. The front is similar to the 308 GT where the lion is caged in the grille instead of sitting on top of it, but the grille inserts feature the trademark chequered pattern as seen on the 208 GTi.
Nothing much can be said on the side, apart from the additional side skirts, discreet GTi badge on the front fenders, red brake calipers, and a new set of wheels that comes in either 18-inch or 19-inch sizes. You might or might not notice that the GTi sits 11 mm lower to the ground too.
Updates to the back is limited to the lower diffuser with dual circular tailpipes and the obligatory GTi badge on the boot lid.
Like the exterior, the GTi treatment is quite subtle but still noticeable. The flat-bottom steering wheel is not only marked with a red center marker on top, it’s also stamped with a GTi badge at the bottom, with contrasting red stitching extends to the seats, door panels, and the dashboard. Other than that, the instrument panel receives a new chequered graphics and Redline theme.
There’s also the Driver Sport Pack, which turns the display colour from white to red whenever the Sport button is pressed. It shows additional information such as power, torque, and boost in the central screen as well.
There’s only one engine for this front-wheel drive GTi which is the 1.6-litre THP, however you can have it in either 250 hp or 270 hp tunes. A six-speed manual transmission is the only choice whether you like it or not, and Peugeot claims that they’ve strengthened the ‘box to cope with the 330 Nm of twisting force generated by the THP mill.
The GTi 270 is capable to reach 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds, while the GTi 250 is takes additional 0.2 seconds and yet, it only sips 6.0 litres per 100 km.
Complementing the power hike are the chassis tweaks for that promised “ultimate driving experience”. The front and rear tracks are wider, and the suspension has been reworked with stiffer springs and recalibrated shocks. The brakes have also been improved; the front ventilated discs measure 380 mm while the rear discs measure 268 mm.
Torsen® limited-slip differential is specifically fitted to the GTi 270 only, and it should make the car even quicker when the roads turn twisty. Plus, the GTi 270 gets a set of 19-inch “Carbone” alloys wrapped in 235/35 R19 Michelin Super Sport tyres replacing a set of 18-inch “Diamant” alloys wrapped in 225/40 R 18 Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres on the GTi 250.
The two-tone Ultimate Red and Perla Nera Black paintjob is called the “Coupe Franche” and it’s only available on the GTi 270, so if you’re the showy kind then this is definitely the paint scheme to have.
The 308 GTi will make its debut at the upcoming 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. No word on the Malaysian launch date just yet, but we’ll be sure to report to you when the time comes.