Peugeot has shown off its power-punching 308 R Hybrid, a car that feels closer to the 908 that underpins its development than the family hatch it’s based on.
One petrol and two electric motors power the Peugeot 308 R – a front-mounted turbo-charged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine producing 201kW and two electric motors producing 85kW are located on each axle. Gears are controlled via a six-speed automatic transmission. A 3kWh lithium-ion battery mounted low in the vehicle provides juice for the motors and helps keep the centre of gravity low.
Four driving modes of varying power output are derived by using some or all of the engines.
Hot Lap mode provides the most fun, with all three motors running in unison to develop 373kW and 730Nm. The power on tap here is enormous, and the 308 R harnesses an all-wheel drive system and 235/35/19 rubber on an 80mm wider track to ensure traction is contained. And it is – 0-100km/h is reached in just 4.0sec before hitting an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Moving down the fun list is Track mode, with a less aggressive profile of all three engines producing 298kW and 530Nm torque; Road mode, turning off the front electric motor to produce 224kW and 400Nm; and ZEV mode, using the rear electric and occasionally the front electric motor, when extra zip is required.
Stopping power is provided courtesy of a hybrid system too, with regenerative braking providing small bursts of charge to the battery – handy for keeping the 380mm front and 290mm rear discs fresh when driving hard.
The keen-eyed motoring enthusiasts may have also noticed the Bleu de France exterior, a homage to French racing history. Styling cues keep to the theme with a chequered flag-inspired front grill, side scoops, bonnet fins and a central scoop sporting the 308 R Hybrid signature.
The rear is splashed with matt black, however restrained in designed, with only a thin spoiler and vents which provide functional cooling of the battery.
Although we’re not going to see the Peugeot 308 R come to fruition any time in the foreseeable future, it’s good to see the future of cars-after-oil has a bright and largely noiseless future.