Rest in peace, 308 GTi: Peugeot says that hot hatches are dead

For reasons unbeknownst to us, Peugeot isn’t a brand that’s too popular here in Malaysia. But over in the Western side of the world, the French marque still holds some prestige in the hot hatch market – thanks to its GTi models, starting from the Peugeot 205 GTi way back in the 80s.

If you saw the aggressive-looking all-new Peugeot 308 – which debuted yesterday – and thought to yourself: “I would get one of those when the GTi model comes out”, we’re very sorry to burst your bubble, but that day is most probably never going to come. Ever.

The new looks could definitely have worked with a hotter GTi version.

According to a comment made by Peugeot’s product director in a recent interview, the French brand looks like they just aren’t that interested in making a performance-oriented hatchback any more.

Speaking to Top Gear, Peugeot’s Jerome Micheron said this about the prospects of a 308 GTi: “If you look at the market for sporty versions, and the CO2 regulations, it has collapsed.” Ouch. And that wasn’t all that Micheron had to say.

Remember the Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered variant? The one with additional electric propulsion and all-wheel drive? Yeah, that’s not happening on the 308 either. “We don’t see a market yet. And it adds extra weight,’ he added.

Similar to what other car brands are saying these days, the main reason for the mass exodus of high-performance internal combustion engine is none other than the Euro 7 emissions standards, due to come into effect in 2025.

An electric GTi, perhaps?

The effect is felt even more on smaller cars, as they don’t have high-enough profit margins to absorb the high costs required for the new tech required to lower the CO2 emissions. A more detailed breakdown, complete with industry leaders’ comments, can be found in this report by Automotive News.

Oh well, at least Peugeot says that a fully-electric 308 is “in our roadmap”, and looking at what the electric cars are achieving now, we could probably see an electric-only 308 that’s good enough to wear the GTi badge. But until then though, we’ll be mourning the death of the Peugeot GTi. Good bye, old friend.


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