Hot hatch sales ‘collapse’ kills Peugeot 308 GTi

A collapsing market for hot hatches in Europe means Peugeot won’t be making a GTI version of its new 308.

3 weeks ago
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Zak Adkins
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It’s a sad day for hot hatch fans: Peugeot isn’t going to put a new 308 GTi into production.

Peugeot’s product director Jerome Micheron told Top Gear that due to emissions regulations, a performance variant is off the cards.

“If you look at the market for sporty versions, and the CO2 regulations, it has collapsed,” Mr Micheron said.

When asked about a plug-in hybrid hot hatch, Mr Micheron said that he couldn’t see a market for it and that a PHEV powertrain added too much weight.

That’s despite Peugeot debuting a sporty PHEV version – the Sport Engineered – of the larger 508 hatch and wagon.

It features an electric motor on each axle and an 11.5kWh lithium-ion battery, and produces 268kW of power and 520Nm of torque.

That makes it good for a 0-100km/h time of 5.2 seconds and 42km of electric range.

Peugeot’s ruling out of a 308 GTI is a similar story to that of the Ford Focus RS, where a fourth generation model was ruled out due to tightening emissions laws.

In a video by Autotrader, journalist Rory Reid revealed that the Focus RS was emitting 175g/km of CO2 when the European Union’s required fleet average is 95g/km.

Ford confirmed in April 2020 that it would kill off the RS completely, stating, “As a result of pan-European emissions standards, increased CO2 taxation and the high cost of developing an RS with some form of electrification for a relatively low volume of vehicles, we are not planning another RS version of the Focus”.

Rest assured, the hot hatch market isn’t dead yet.

2021 will see the new Audi S3, facelifted Hyundai i30 N, updated Renault Megane RS and the new Volkswagen Golf GTI all land in Australian showrooms.

For the time being, all these cars remain with non-hybrid internal combustion engines.

These very well may be the last line of ‘old-school’ hot hatches before electrification arrives in the coming years.


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