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Peugeot's new hot hatch spotted

2010-04-20 06:15

SPOTTED: A Peugeot 308 GTI captured at speed on a French motorway.

One name is conspicuous by its absence in the current realm of hot hatches – Peugeot.

Whereas in the 1980's and early 1990's the Belfort Lion badge was a revered performance insignia to have on the fifth door of your hot hatch, today there’s only the lukewarm 207 GTi to satisfy any performance motoring demand for Peugeot product enthusiasts.

Well, this may soon change. Peugeot’s keenly awaited 308 GTI is in waiting for the brand’s big hot hatch comeback, despite an official company line to the contrary.

Bringing the pug back up to speed

Peugeot’s comeback hot hatch will aim to do justice to the performance legend of such GTI machines as the 205, 206, 306 and 309.

Although Peugeot has been at pains to explain why it will not (allegedly) be building a Peugeot 308 GTI (too close to comfort in terms of performance to the RCZ), a test mule has been spotted in France.

REMEMBER THIS? Pugs were the seminal hot hatches of the 1980s.

The image of a 308 GTI captured at speed on a French motorway shows a neat dual-exhaust treatment and spoiler visible from the back.

Powering the 308 GTI should be an upgraded version of the 1.6-litre, turbocharged THP engine that does duty in the Citroën DS3 Racing.

Worth 147kW, the 308 GTI probably won’t be the quickest hot hatch in its class, but it should have class-leading agility.

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