LThe formula is simple, but, like any French recipe, to be able to execute it you must have the touch, style and seasoning, because if you lack any of these elements it is easy to end up doing something that does not live up to the legacy of one of the most traditional automotive cultures in the automotive industry.
Peugeot, very aware of the risk, but also very sure of its capabilities, commissioned Peugeot Sport, its racing car division, an authentic GTI, although it will not arrive in our country with these acronyms because, by copyright, they belong to Volkswagen. However, it is enough to drive it to recognize that it deserves the most desired surname in the hatchback industry, as the talent of the Peugeot Sport division was in charge of putting together a delightful car.
The prolonged quarantine delayed the publication of one of our last pre-lockdown test drives, which we conducted at the Amozoc racetrack. There, we were able to put under the magnifying glass the capabilities and talent of a balanced car with a refined touch, which is known to plant on the track, the only place where it is truly possible to undress a sports car of this level; how we miss those days when the will was enough to go and challenge a car that was born to run without the need to deploy a whole safety and disinfection protocol, nowadays essential to set foot on the street.
The first thing that will attract the attention of this 308 is its look, a very sober one, away from all the scandal that usually accompanies other vehicles in the segment (such as the Type R), this for Peugeot is left over, they prefer to speak on the track than shout in the street. A pair of red accents, 19-inch carbon-colored aluminum wheels, red four-piston front brake calipers and 380mm discs, exclusive air intakes for this version, dual exhaust and so-so, except for the GT emblems there is no more, for them it was not necessary.
When you open the door, things change, although there is no chrome or flashy lights that change the sordid attitude of the car, it is more intense and smells of something else, it feels like an expensive car, well finished, well armed and with good materials. The design of the seats, steering wheel specially designed to improve grip, gear lever (six-speed manual) and pedals are what you would expect from a hothatch and are accompanied by digital surfaces that can be configured to provide you with the information you need. you think it’s necessary, thanks to the i-cockpit and the 9.7-inch touch screen located on the dash.
LET’S DO IT
But the real magic begins when we hit the brakes and hit the power button. At this point the jewel in the crown comes into play, the heart of this formula, the engine.
To put 270 horsepower under the driver’s right foot, Peugeot decided to place a small block under the hood that, thanks to the blast of its turbocharger, is able to extract an unusual thrust from four cylinders for this size of engine, enough to make it facing any challenge.
Although the true magic of this car appears as soon as the six-speed manual box goes out to look for the right change to exploit 250 pound-feet of torque that, as in all good Europeans, arrive early and on time from 1,900 rpm, with this figure the thrust is forceful and enough to make you feel like you’re in a high-end sports car. So far it seems that the grades are good, however when they really improve is when the pace and dexterity of this car are put to the test. The firm prepared a series of exercises to remove the copper from its artwork.
In slalom the transfer of weights was minimal, it is really difficult to take this 308 out of balance; When it was time to brake, the ventilated and slotted disc system demonstrated its superior capabilities, never lost effectiveness or showed fatigue and stopped the car at the same level of its acceleration, during the long day, although the jewel in the crown came out to shine when they poured water on a curve and challenged us to take Peugeot Sport’s favorite son off balance.
It sounds crazy, but with the ideal conditions to test how much the electronic assists of this 308 kept it under control, we stepped on the accelerator, and with the speed that we could reach in just over 20 meters, on the wet asphalt, we turned the steering wheel to the left to enter the curve, waiting for the understeer, which never came. Wow, wow, the Torsen-type slip-slip differential kept us like we were on rails to chart a perfect trajectory, making us feel like we had Marcus Grönholm’s hands on us.
The 308 GT is a car with everything you need to surprise you, loaded with technology and good finishes that have nothing to spare, because it does not resort to the cheap formula of hanging small lights to attract attention. It is known to plant with aplomb on the asphalt and puts up a formula that, if you like sporty driving, you can enjoy, without threatening comfort.
The bad news is that from when it was presented to date, the car has risen in price and the firm, which by the way is doing very well thanks to the solidity of its product portfolio, had not planned to bring many units for which, from one moment to the next, is a product that can be finished.
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