GENEVA SHOW: Peugeot shuns hot-hatch segment
Peugeot will not be going for the hot hatchback market with the 308 GT THP 175 unveiled at Geneva.
Head of product for Peugeot UK, Steve Lambert, described the new model, which will go on sale in April, as more of a "warm" hatch.
"This is not a GTi, I would better describe it as a swift, luxury hatchback with lots of equipment. It has a very high level of torque which makes for effortless performance."
This new top-line 308 petrol model is powered by the 1.6 litre turbo-charged THP 175 bhp petrol engine, first seen in the 207 GTi THP 175. The engine was co-developed with BMW (which uses it in the Mini) and is mated to a new six-speed manual gearbox.
The engine develops maximum power of 175bhp at 6000 rpm with maximum torque of 180lb ft - or 195lb ft with overboost at 1,600rpm.
"We will certainly not be marketing this car as a screaming GTi because we want to step away from the boy-racer image. We are not setting any volume objectives for this model either," said Lambert.
He said the new model would be sold in the UK with three and five doors while a wagon version was under review.
"We will be keeping an eye on the performance estate market," he added.
Meanwhile a decision is expected soon on the 308 RC2 concept performance model first seen at the Frankfurt show last year and on display here at Geneva.
Reaction from potential customers has so far been good and further market studies are being carried out.