Peugeot's boss has just told us a 270bhp version of the 308 is very likely. In boss-speak that means it WILL happen.
The Peugeot 308 R is coming
Peugeot boss reveals to TG that 270bhp version of the new 308 is on the cards...
The company's Director General, Maxime Picat, said: "We will create specific high-line versions of our cars. For example the 208 GTi and RCZ R. There is room for a 308 R that uses the same engine as the concept car at Frankfurt."
That engine is a 270bhp 1.6-litre, putting a 308 R's output bang on the money with the next Civic Type R, as well as the Astra VXR and Megane Renaultsport.
Picat's rationale for getting it into production is simple. "After the Le Mans project shut down [in January 2012, before their brand-new hybrid racer had ever raced] we needed to rejuvenate our sport effort. It's a clear part of the brand. And now it's winning again." So we can assume he was right behind the Pike's Peak extravaganza.
"I gave permission to the Peugeot Sport team to create cars for customers. Clearly the RCZ R and the potential 308 R will be developed by Peugeot sport to use sport technologies." The RCZ R has forged pistons and a Torsen diff for example. So does the 308 R concept, and also four-pot brakes on aluminium hubs. Oh and the gearbox is a manual, which makes us very excited.
The 308 R concept also has a wider, all-carbonfibre skin mounted to the regular 308's inner body - only the roof and tailgate is the same as a standard car. We'd expect the production car to have a wider track and wings, as does the 208 GTI versus a boggo 208. But so much carbonfibre seems pretty darned unlikely for a production hot-hatch.
So does the strange diagonally split paint scheme. It's supposed to remind us of the Peugeot Onyx supercar concept, but you might be put in mind of an unfinished crash repair.
But the rest of the car? Yes please. It's not imminent - at least a year we'd reckon - but something like it is coming.
Pictured above: the Peugeot 308 R Concept