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Since its launch, the Peugeot 308 has won over more than 280,000 connoisseurs across the world thanks to qualities that are unheard of in segment C. As it presses ahead with its internationalisation strategy, the marque is present at the Shanghai motor show to launch its new 308 S, built and marketed in China. Regardless of body style and engine fit, the Peugeot 308 is renowned for its high performance, boosted by the versatility of its EMP2 platform.
Peugeot Sport has now developed a new plug-in petrol hybrid powertrain on this same base. The 500 hp power and the four-wheel drive push back the boundaries of sporting prowess in the segment, offering truly extraordinary performance. Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is also the revelation of a unique interior design with four individual seats and sleek lines pared in blue and black.
“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.” Bruno Famin, Director at Peugeot Sport.
Peugeot 308 R Hybrid has the perfect proportions for its quest for pure performance: it is incredibly compact with wheels in its four corners offering perfect balance, attained by seating the 308 hatchback on the EMP2 platform. The elegant style and sporting prowess of the 308 are perfectly recognisable, borrowing the design codes explored on the Quartz concept car and expressing them in its own radical manner. “The balanced proportions of the Peugeot 308 and its clean-cut, technological design are the ideal base for a radical model like this. Peugeot 308 R Hybrid makes spectacular use of its assets for an even racier, evermore dynamic style.” Gilles Vidal, Head of Styling at Peugeot.
Pinned to the ground on its 235/35 R19 tyres set on tracks that have been widened by 80 mm, the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid devours the road. Its front end is imposing with the expressive louvers on the bonnet and the sharp edges and sleek surfaces of its mineral bumper. The grille features a checked pattern and supplies the innovative 500-hp powertrain with air. The side air scoops integrate the sequential LED indicators while the central scoop sports the car’s signature 308 R Hybrid badge, carved into the block.
In profile, the lines, which have been cut to fit tightly around the mechanical components, catch the light as they draw your eye over the vehicle. Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is cloaked in an impressively intense blue, developed using fluorescent pigments and glass particles. This colour recalls both the hybrid powertrain and the shade historically reserved for French competition vehicles. On the rear doors, the blue is matched with a matte black, giving a different interpretation of the car’s clean lines, a trademark of the most extreme cars from Peugeot.
At the rear, Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is remarkably understated yet just as radical. The rear stance underscores the car’s road handling while a narrow spoiler at the top of the tailgate reinforces the aerodynamics. Then there is the bumper with two scoops that help keep the battery temperature down by drawing out the hot air. The air scoops and the body sills are embellished with a touch of white ceramic-look material, emphasising the car’s dynamic character.
The doors open to reveal an impressive interior structured by a stretched-out central console and four bucket seats. The selected materials and colours clearly state the aim of Peugeot 308 R Hybrid: performance. The upper fittings and the roof lining are slate grey. The bucket seats are upholstered in fawn-coloured patinated leather. In true sporting tradition, the interior is finished with touches of red, especially around the dials, the steering wheel centre marker and the central console.
For the first time ever, Peugeot 308 R Hybrid has adopted a set of materials taken from the range usually reserved for concept cars only. Hence, the dashboard is covered in a fabric produced using a digital weaving technique. This innovative material can be used to produce large, complex parts that are soft to the touch with no need for foam, making for a lighter vehicle. The digital fabric is used on the door panels together with black leather and the same fawn patinated leather as the seats.
Thanks to the innovative architecture of the Peugeot i-Cockpit, the driver is fully in control of the 500 hp supplied by the powertrain. The compact steering wheel, upholstered in perforated leather and bearing the 308 R Hybrid logo, allows for precise, incisive positioning when cornering. The steering wheel paddles are immediately to hand, giving the driver finger-tip control over the six-speed gearbox. And the head-up display provides all relevant driving information, without the need to take your eyes off the road. Finally, the two buttons on the central console allow the driver to keep a check on the mechanics. The first activates the powerful powertrain while the second gives access to the four driving modes.
Development of the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid was entrusted to Peugeot Sport. They were challenged to developing an efficient petrol hybrid plug-in powertrain, integrating it into the EMP platform and setting new limits in terms of performance. The result is on a par with that challenge: quite simply astounding. Developing 500 hp with four-wheel drive, Peugeot 308 R Hybrid has its speed limited electronically at 250 km/h, going from 0 to 100 km/h is 4.0 seconds, and covering 1000 m from a standing start in 22.0 seconds. In spite of all that, CO2 emissions are just 70 g/km.
It is perfectly balanced, with 60% of its weight to the front and 40% to the rear. Peugeot 308 R Hybrid has a fiery spirit but an incredible weight/power ratio, barely reaching 3.1 kg/hp. “If we were able to reach this kind of performance on a segment C vehicle, it is all down to our passion for a challenge and our desire for excellence. Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is part of a very select club of cars reaching 0 to 100 km/h in less than four seconds.” Jean-Philippe Delaire, Peugeot Sport, Head of Development of the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid powertrain.
Thanks to the all-wheel drive system, the handling of Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is pretty formidable, especially coming out of the bends. The braking system is on a par with the car’s performance with 380 mm ventilated discs at the front, gripped by four pistons, and 290 mm discs to the rear. However, they are not used every time the brakes are applied, because Peugeot Sport has designed the powertrain to decelerate using the electric motors throughout the full speed range, starting at 250 km/h. Not only does this preserve the discs and pads, but this regenerative braking system is also one of the three ways of recharging the battery. Another recharging strategy uses the front electric engine as a generator, driven by the petrol engine. The third solution is a rapid recharging terminal restoring the battery to its maximum power in just 30 minutes.
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