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Monster hybrid hatch from Peugeot. Image by Peugeot.

Monster hybrid hatch from Peugeot
Peugeot's 308 R Hybrid previews an actual real production model.
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2015-09-11: Peugeot 308 R Hybrid is go

You see, I told you hybrids can be fun.

You won't fool me. I've driven a Prius.

No, wait, honestly. Check this out. 500hp. 0-62mph in a BMW M3-shattering 4.0 seconds and 70g/km of CO2.


Exactly. Er, I think. This is, you see, the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid concept, a car that will, hopefully, please, pretty please, dear Santa, lead to a full-on production model and Peugeot's hottest road-going car ever. We knew that Peugeot was working on a hot 308; we just didn't know it was going to be this stuffed with chilli.

At the heart of this car is a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, familiar from the RCZ R coupé and pumping out 270hp. To that is added a pair of electric motors and a lithium-ion battery stack. One motor drives the front wheels, one the rears. Each of them is capable of a maximum output of 115hp, so tie everything together and select the 'Hot Lap' function on a switch on the dashboard and you have a 500hp family hatch.

Not that you'll get much shopping into it - in order to make room for the batteries and to keep the centre of gravity where the Peugeot Sport engineers (whose fingerprints are all over this car) wanted it, the fuel tank is now in the boot.

But, who cares about practicality when you've got a car that can develop 300hp for road use, 400hp for trackdays and that magic 500hp figure for ultimate banzai laps and 0-60 runs? One that has its grunt contained by 380mm vented discs at the front, yet actually relies more on the front electric motor to act as a brake, so that the batteries recharge faster for maximum acceleration runs.

Peugeot doesn't quote any fuel figures or electric-only range but it is a plugin hybrid, which can be topped up from a fast charger in just 45 minutes, and that 70g/km CO2 figure is apparently real. As is the gorgeous interior, which uses a clever 'digital weave' process for the dashboard, which Peugeot says saves weight by creating a robust soft-touch structure without needing heavy foam padding.

There's also a heads-up display for the driver and paddle shifters behind that dinky steering wheel for the gearbox. On the outside there is a mad half-royal-blue, half-black slashed paint scheme and a bulging, vented body kit to emphasise just how ridiculously grunty this car is.

What's the official word?

"Peugeot Sport's expertise applies an uncompromising approach to meeting targets. With our experience in hybrid vehicles developed with the Peugeot 908, the high-performance hybrid powertrain fitted to the 308 gives a glimpse of the potential for ultra-sports models in the future," says Bruno Famin, Director at Peugeot Sport.

"If we were able to reach this kind of performance on a C-segment, it is all down to our passion for a challenge and our desire for excellence. Peugeot 308 R HYbrid is part of a very select club of cars reaching 0-62mph in four seconds", says Jean-Philippe Delaire, Peugeot Sport Head of Development, 308 R HYbrid power train.

Neil Briscoe - 16 Apr 2015

Earlier articles featuring 2015 Peugeot 308

2014-09-08: Peugeot to launch 308 GT

2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.

2015 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid. Image by Peugeot.     - Peugeot road tests
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