Peugeot has announced a new version of its 308 family hatchback, although some of its specs are anything but family-friendly. The 308 R Hybrid concept has a petrol-electric engine that is good for the environment and the owner's wallet. However, it also accelerates 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 4 seconds flat.
The 308 R Hybrid has been developed by Peugeot's Sport engineering and racing division, which was responsible for the firm's RCZ concept car. Like the RCZ, the 308 R Hybrid is developed very much with power and speed in mind.
The concept is powered by a four-cylinder 1.6-l THP 270 S&S petrol engine and has two 85 kW (115 hp) electric motors, one on each axle. The setup delivers four-wheel drive via a six-speed gearbox and four different driving modes.
In the most powerful Hot Lap mode, the 308 R Hybrid harnesses maximum power and torque from its three power sources, delivering 500 hp and 730 Nm (538 lb.ft) respectively. A second, speed-oriented Track mode draws power mainly from the petrol engine and the rear electric motor, producing 400 hp and 530 Nm (391 lb.ft) in the process.
For day-to-day driving, Road mode uses the full potential of the petrol engine with help from the rear electric motor during acceleration, while the front electric motor is not used at all. This mode provides 300 hp and 400 Nm (295 lb.ft). The final ZEV mode uses the rear electric motor and, if needed, the front electric motor, for a fully electric drive.
According to Peugeot, the weight of the car has been kept to a minimum to ensure its handling is suitably responsive. Where possible, braking is delivered by the electric motors, which recover the energy to recharge the Lithium-Ion 3 kWh battery. When required, it also has brake discs at the front and rear. The battery of the 308 R Hybrid can also be charged using the front electric motor as a generator or by using a rapid recharging terminal, which takes around 45 minutes.
Peugeot says it has retained the classic 308 styling, but reimagined it based on the Quartz concept. Front and rear tracks have been widened and a narrow spoiler added for aerodynamics. The front-end is marked out by a distinctive checkered grill, while the rear bumper has two large twin air outlets for drawing air out and keeping the battery cool.
Inside, the 308 R Hybrid concept features Peugeot's i-Cockpit instrumentation and a head-up display that provides relevant driving information. For the driver there's a compact steering wheel with flappy paddles for changing gears. The interior has leather upholstered seats, slate gray upper fittings and roof lining, and red highlights.
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