Before we’ve even driven Peugeot’s new posh Parisian hatch – you’ll have to wait until later in the week for that – the company’s teased us with this: a faster, more hardcore version. It’s called the 308 R Concept. It’s lower, wider and meaner than the normal car… and shares the same colour scheme as Kane’s WWF mask.
Underneath Peugeot has fitted the same 270bhp, 243lb ft 1.6-litre four-cylinder that’s in the RCZ R. If you do some Top Gear maths, that equates to 170bhp per litre, just eight bhp short of the per litreage of the raucous A45 AMG. A perfectly punchy Pug, then. It’s linked to a six-speed manual gearbox and uses a Torsen differential to try get that power through the front wheels and on to the road.
Structurally, the roof and boot are the only parts that have stayed the same as the production model. The doors, front wings, sides, sills, bonnet and bumpers are all new and made of carbon fibre. Peugeot Sport, the people behind the blisteringly quick 208 T16, have had also had a hand in developing the car and widened the track by 30mm and lowered the car by 26mm to improve cornering. Stopping power is provided by big Alcon discs (380mm by 32mm at the front, 330mm by 22mm at the rear) and four-piston calipers.
Peugeot won’t comment on the potential of the R going into production. But the ‘R’ brand has been created to allow Peugeot Sport to tinker with its cars, and the fact that the RCZ R has gone in production, means that it’s not beyond the realms of possibility… We’ll know more when Frankfurt kicks off on September 10, but for now – want to see this beyond the walls of a motor show, TopGear.commers?