This week the Shanghai Motor Show has opened its doors to the world. If I am honest, I was not expecting anything particularly exciting, because all the cars there are either vehicles designed exclusively for the Chinese market or else Chinese copies of European cars. This year, however, Peugeot Sport has gone and created something truly incredible.
Here it is, and it is call the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid Concept, and I will not mince my words here, it is awesome. Peugeot Sport, makers of the 908 Le Mans racer, the RCZ R and 208 GTi 30th Anniversary, have taken the 1.6 litre engine from the RCZ R, wedged two electric motors on the front and rear axle, to result in a car producing 493 bhp. 0-62 mph happens in 4.0 seconds and power is sent to all four wheels. Quite simply, WOW.
The R Hybrid has four driving modes, Hot Lap, Track, Road and ZEV. The “Hot Lap” mode uses all of the car’s available resources, pushing out all 493 bhp from the petrol engine and both electric motors, while “Track” mode uses only 395 bhp, making use of just rear electric motor and the petrol engine. Whilst in “Track” mode, the front electric motor acts as a booster under hard acceleration. “Road” mode uses the petrol engine, supplemented by the rear electric motor for acceleration, amounting to 296 bhp. “ZEV” is when the car runs just off the electric motors. Peugeot has not given a range for pure electric travel, and I don’t blame them. Nobody cares about the “ZEV” mode. If you are interested, the batteries will charge fully on a fast charger in 45 minutes.
The exterior shouts performance, with massive air vents painted white. Peugeot’s new signature sports paint scheme has made a reappearance, this time in a rather fetching blue and matte black combo. The paint apparently has tiny glass particles, which gives the car that extra shine. Interestingly, the paint used is normally only used on French race cars, which is also a nice touch.
The interior is a clear adaptation of the ordinary 308’s interior. There are new tan sports seats, and a new fabric lining the dashboard. It looks less like a concept flight of fancy and more production ready. Could we see a 500 bhp Peugeot in the near future?
Sadly no, this car will remain a concept. However, the big heads at Peugeot have said that a more powerful 308 is coming, presumably using the 276 bhp 1.6 litre engine out of the RCZ R, and will probably be called the 308 GTi. The hybrid technology could also see the light of day too. Carlos Tavares has stated that future performance Peugeots will use electric motors to supplement the performance of the petrol engine. All of which is cracking great news.
Expect to see the 308 GTi within the next few months, and in the mean time, spend your every waking hour praying and hoping this R Hybrid makes production. I want one more than I want my next breath.