PEUGEOT 308 R Hybrid, a compact hatchback that drives like a supercar
Since the original launch of the PEUGEOT 308, the French titbit has won over more than a quarter of a million connoisseurs around the world, including South Africa – all of this thanks to qualities that are unheard of in its segment.
Peugeot is pressing ahead with its internationalisation strategy, and has just launched the next version – the 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 plugin petrol hybrid powertrain on this same base. The engine’s massive 500 hp and four-wheel drive push back the boundaries of sporting prowess in the segment, offering truly extraordinary performance.
The 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….
The new 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.
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.
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.
PEUGEOT Sport systematically called on its technical expertise and its successful motor racing track record to define the specifications of each component as well as its ideal position. The powertrain thus combines three sources of power, each powering the vehicle independently of the others:
- the 4-cylinder petrol 1.6L THP 270 S&S engine, with the highest special power rating in the world for this engine size,
- an electric motor with power of 85 kW / 115 hp, linked to the 6-speed gearbox,
- an electric motor with the same characteristics on the rear axle.
For impeccable dynamic handling, the car’s weight has been recentred and placed as low as possible. The Lithium-Ion 3 kWh battery has an excellent ratio between power and size, and has been placed under the rear seats in place of the fuel tank.
In turn, the 50 L fuel tank has been placed in the boot above the rear electric motor and the two transformers. In their quest for perfection, the PEUGEOT Sport engineers have completely redesigned the bottom of the fuel tank so that it sits tightly up against the technical components. The few millimetres thus gained on the vehicle height contribute to its performance.
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 45 minutes.
PEUGEOT 308 R HYbrid is awe-inspiring proof of the engineers' and designers' talent and of the excellence of the PEUGEOT 308. A PEUGEOT is always about motion and emotion.