Hot hatches are a predominently European business, with VW, Renault and Ford making some of the best. But last year, Peugeot started challenging the establishment. With help from their motorsport engineers, they made the 208 GTi and are now working on a 308 GTi model as well.
We've see test prototypes throughout last year, but this one is a little different. It's actually the new 308 SW estate, turned into a hot hatch. It's a crazy idea, but one which has been tried by more than a few manufacturers lately. There's the Ford Focus ST Estate with 250 hp, an upcoming Leon ST Cupra with 265 hp and the sensible man's choice, the Octavia vRS.
The thing is, all these have 2-liter engines, but Peugeot is making its hot estate with a smaller 1.6-liter turbo. They haven't decided on the output yet, but expect somewhere between 230 and 250 hp.
Despite the lack of power, there's the French charm to consider. The 308 is an interesting car which is only going to get more interesting. Engineers are obviously going to lower the suspension and provide larger alloy wheels, but are likely to keep the whole setup quite soft for everyday usability. Changes will also be made to the design of the front bumper, which very obviously has large intakes on either side now.