After comparing the new Honda Civic Type R with four of the best hot hatchbacks on sale, Driving concluded that drivers have never been so spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a smoking-hot small car. Now, just a couple of weeks later, Peugeot comes wheelspinning its way up the hillclimb course at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with an all-new 308 GTi.
The new 308 GTi makes its debut at Goodwood and should be a bit of a crowd-pleaser. Thousands of drivers have owned a Peugeot GTi at one time in their lives, and many have tales to tell of overexuberant driving at the wheel of the feisty wee things.
Engineered by Peugeot Sport, which builds rally machines for the French car maker, the 308 GTi will be powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that comes in two states of tune: the 308 GTi 250 (246bhp) costs £26,555 and the 308 GTi 270 (266bhp) is priced £28,155.
The 270 is the car that will catch the attention of eager drivers. Peugeot claims it sets a new standard for power-to-weight ratio, and it comes with larger front brakes and a Torsen limited-slip differential, the latter helping to improve traction under hard acceleration.
It is said to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 6.0 seconds (the 250 version takes 6.2 seconds) and top speed is electronically restricted to 155mph. That makes it slightly more sprightly than a Golf GTI, which takes 6.5 seconds.
The suspension is built to handle the GTI’s performance, with a MacPherson strut arrangement in the front and a twist-beam rear axle, a semi-hollow anti-roll bar and aluminium wishbones, as well as bespoke spring and damper settings. The electronic stability programme has been tuned to suit sporty driving and can be switched off.
The character of the car can be changed from slightly feisty to aggressive at the touch of a button – in this case marked “Sport” and set into the centre console.