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All-new Peugeot 308 GT – Performance and style

8th September 2014 Print
Peugeot 308 GT

The showroom success enjoyed by the award-winning Peugeot 308 looks set to reach even greater heights with the arrival of a dynamic new flagship – the stunning 308 GT.

Available in Hatchback and SW body styles, both models offer assertive new styling, outstanding performance-oriented engines and bespoke chassis modifications to create a lowered ride height. The result is an exceptional on-the-road experience that will delight the most enthusiastic drivers. The enhancements clearly embody Peugeot’s continued move up-market, highlighted by the 308’s recognition as the 2014 European Car of the Year.

The new Peugeot 308 GT retains all the elements which have made the 308 range such a huge commercial hit throughout Europe. That includes the striking exterior design, innovative Peugeot i-Cockpit cabin, versatile interior and high perceived quality. Remarkable engine efficiency, with high fuel economy and ultra-low emissions, is also part of the 308 GT package.

Assertive sporty styling

The 308 GT’s unique design quality is immediately obvious. The iconic Peugeot Lion emblem has moved from the bonnet’s leading edge to the front grille, with three horizontal blades on either side. For optimum vision in all circumstances, the 308 GT has been fitted with top-of-the-range headlights made up of 62 LEDs.

Exclusive new direction indicators also distinguish the 308 GT from other models. Their dynamic sequential operation, moving from the inside to the outside, emphasises the technological identity of the car. They are placed above the new air scoops which supply the engine with additional cooling.

The 308 GT presents a great aerodynamic and stylistic purity, most notable where the black lacquered door mirrors merge with the tinted windows. Visibly widened by its side sill finishers, the 308 GT sits on 18-inch ‘Diamant’ wheels, shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres. Their fluted spokes and engraved motif are exclusive to the 308 GT.

At the rear, the 308 GT offers a striking and distinctive posture, thanks in part to the lacquered black diffuser and stylish twin exhaust pipes. The GT signature is integrated into the tailgate, as well as the front grille and wheel arches.

The range of colours for the 308 GT includes the new and exclusive ‘Magnetic Blue’. Evocative of the blue historically reserved for French competition vehicles, this bold shade suits the car’s fluid and dynamic lines, while emphasising its lowered ride height.

An exclusive new ambiance is also achieved in the car’s cabin, with both the roof lining and upper window pillars finished in anthracite. Red stitching adds a performance air to the upholstery trim and is also found on the dashboard, door panels, gear lever gaiter and floor mats. Aluminium detailing on the pedals, coupled with stainless steel sill finishers in the door apertures, add the finishing touch.

Vital in any sports-oriented car is the correct driving position. It’s already ideal in this new model because of the ergonomics of the Peugeot i-Cockpit, as seen in every 308. The driver can adjust the height and reach of the compact steering wheel, which is unique to this car thanks to its perforated leather trim and GT badge. The instrument panel bears a new chequered flag motif background and switching on the ignition produces a GT welcome message. To complement this, the large touchscreen displays a new colour scheme dominated by red and black, titled ‘Redline’.

Remarkable dynamic performance

To deliver maximum enjoyment, the 308 GT features enhanced new chassis settings. Ride height has been lowered by 7mm at the front and 10mm at the rear for a more dynamic drive. The revised suspension is mated to a choice of high-performance engines, one petrol and one diesel, that already meet stringent Euro 6 emissions standards.

The four-cylinder 1.6-litre THP 205 Stop&Start petrol engine is specified with a six-speed manual gearbox to make the most of its 285Nm of torque, available between 1,750 and 4,500rpm. This high level of performance is combined with well controlled CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, from just 130g/km and 50.4mpg. Engineers used all of the Brand’s expertise to achieve a remarkable power-to-weight ratio of just 5.85kg/hp (171hp per tonne) on this model.

To achieve these results, the engine combines:

a twin-scroll turbocharger, for performance and instant response from a very low engine speed

direct fuel injection assuring optimum combustion efficiency

variable valve lift on inlet, coupled with variable valve timing on both inlet and exhaust (VTi technology, Variable valve and Timing injection)

Stop&Start to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as improving general comfort in urban driving

The four-cylinder 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 diesel engine also offers a high level of performance. It delivers its maximum power of 180hp at 3,750rpm and its maximum torque of 400Nm at 2,000rpm. Highlighting Peugeot’s attention to engineering detail, reducing the thickness of wall casings and the use of engine ancillaries only when required has led to a 7k weight saving. With a power-to-weight ratio of just 7.3 kg/hp (136hp per tonne), this engine needs only 5.5 seconds to accelerate from 50-70mph in 5th gear. With a capacity of 1,997cc, it presents remarkable CO2 emissions of just 103g, equal to fuel consumption of 70.6 mpg.

To achieve these results, the engine combines:

3rd generation common-rail fuel system operating at up to 2,000 bars

new combustion chamber optimising the mixture of air and fuel, delivered by seven-hole injectors

a compression ratio raised to 16.7:1 to improve the overall efficiency of the engine

engine oil of very low viscosity, type 0W15

This diesel engine is coupled to an EAT6 six-speed automatic gearbox, designed and developed in collaboration with Aisin AW. Its efficiency is almost the same as for a manual gearbox due to reduced internal friction and the use of torque converters applied whenever needed to avoid transmission slip. This results in CO2 emissions and fuel economy comparable to those achieved with the best manual gearboxes.

The 308 GT’s suspension set-up (pseudo MacPherson at the front, deformable beam at the rear) has been given specific settings to suit the engines and the spirit of the car. The focus is on a performance-oriented and dynamic drive with excellent body control, while still maintaining a high level of comfort. To achieve this, engineers worked on all of the settings to provide precise control on the extremes of road conditions, providing secure driving and avoiding unwanted over or under-steer. For example, the passive dampers, with new ratings for effort/speed, regulate instantly to adapt to the type of driving. For reduced noise, they have a hydraulic bump stop. Depending on the version, the front and rear suspension is stiffened by 10% to 20% for an extremely responsive reaction, with no lag. The variable electric power steering allows instinctive positioning of the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 tyres with their high level of grip.

Performance of this level demands an effective braking system, easy to modulate and with excellent thermal resistance. This is provided by a Bosch 9CE central unit distributing the braking effort between the four discs. At the front, the 330mm diameter and 30mm thick discs are gripped by floating calipers with 60mm pistons. At the rear, the discs are 268mm diameter on 308 GT and 290mm on 308 GT SW. Both engine types have switchable ESP as standard.

A heightened driving experience

At one with the Peugeot i-Cockpit, the 308 GT driver is at the heart of the driving experience thanks to the 308 range’s standard-fit compact steering wheel and head-up instrumentation. Pleasure is further enhanced by the Driver Sport Pack, standard on every 308 GT. This includes:

amplified and more sporty engine noise

instruments illuminated with red display

instrument panel displays the power and torque delivered, turbo pressure, longitudinal and transverse acceleration

firmer and more responsive  power steering

more responsive accelerator pedal mapping

more responsive operation of the EAT6 gearbox, with steering wheel-mounted paddles

The driver can choose to turn off the Driver Sport Pack setting for a more comfort-orientated drive, using a button on the centre console.

To make the most of its character, the new GT offers various driving aids. Using radar built into the front of the vehicle, the Driver Assistance Pack includes three systems:

Dynamic Cruise Control: automatically maintains and adjusts the speed of the vehicle to match the speed of the vehicle ahead. This ‘Dynamic’ function can be switched off by the driver.

Emergency Collision Alert System: a visual and audible indication to encourage the driver to brake to avoid a collision.

Emergency Collision Braking System: early application of the brakes to avoid a collision or reduce its consequences.

With the Blind Spot Monitoring System, LEDs in the door mirrors illuminate to warn the driver that there is a vehicle in the blind spot. Park Assist is an active parking aid allowing automatic parallel or bay parking.

The Peugeot 308 GT range comprises:

GT 205 with 1.6-litre THP 205 Stop&Start engine and six-speed manual gearbox: 130g CO2/km and 50.4mpg for the Hatchback, 134g CO2/km and 48.7 mpg for the SW.

GT 180 with 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 engine and EAT6 six-speed automatic gearbox: 103g CO2/km and 70.6mpg for the Hatchback, 107g CO2/km and 68.9 mpg for the SW.

The all-new Peugeot 308 GT will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month, is available to order in November when full specification and prices will be announced, with deliveries commencing at the beginning of January, 2015.

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Peugeot 308 GT