The 2016 Peugeot 308 R Hybrid

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There is too much to say about the 2016 308 R Hybrid, mainly because it is breaking new grounds and establishing trends. This is a whole new subject for us. Something that was only a dream a few years ago. Electricity powering a really, really fast car? Now we are living the dream.

It is true that the 2016 308 R Hybrid isn’t a fully electrical vehicle, but the fact we should pay attention is the electric motors’ performance. When this mega-hatch is in only electric mode, it remains a beast on the road. Do not ignore the clear, almost-obvious limitations of this technology, like the duration of the batteries. But still, we are seeing a highly capable, really eco-friendly track monster.

Let’s take a look to the main highlights of the 2016 308 R Hybrid.

Innovative Powertrain and Specs

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The hybrid setup for this mega-hatch is composed by a turbocharged 1.6 L engine and two 85kW AC synchronous electric motors. The entire setup has a total power output rated at 493 hp at 6000 RPM and 538 lb-ft of maximum torque at 1900 RPM.

Along with this hybrid layout, we find a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual sports shifting. These specs allow to the 216 308 R Hybrid to go from standstill to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 4.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h), which is probably electronically limited. Launch control mode makes everyone dream with acceleration and power capabilities, based in massive output in a mega-hatch presentation.

This is the same petrol engine on board of the 308 GTi and RCZ-R models. This Peugeot features an important difference from other hybrid models in the market: the front electric motor totally ignores the gearbox presence and delivers power directly to the Torsen limited-slip front differential. In this way, the electric motors work without the interference of the main mechanical transmission, instead transferring the power generated through a single-speed reduction gearing.

In terms of fuel efficiency, we found an incredible number. According to the car maker, the 2016 308 R Hybrid has a combined consumption rated at 94.1 mpg. This amazing economy is hard to believe.

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Relevant factors of the 308 GTi’s platform and suspension are slightly used and upgraded for this model. The front suspension suffered big changes with reinforced anti-roll bars and dampers, new struts, and stronger springs. In the rear end, the torsion beam suspension layout stills the same, proving optimum results in the base model. The 19-inch alloy wheels are now wider, wrapped with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber. These and many other specs provide a supreme handling experience.

The ZEV (electric-only), Hybrid, and Hybrid Sports deliver less than the maximum output rated, but there are totally capable of offering great shows on the track.

Scarce Details about Design and Convenience

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Peugeot has dedicated its marketing team to share information about the 2016 308 R Hybrid’s performance and no more. Details about the convenience features, both in the exterior and interior are still scarce. We do not know much about it yet.

Physically, we see an upgraded 308 GTi, which is already handsome. The curvy form reminds us an Audi hot hatch. The front fascia is highly cutting-edge. The edgy design of the grille and air intakes located in the bumper are quite nice but not totally suitable for an electric model like this one. The rear end is more aggressive and sporty. In the interior, there are sport bucket seats, both in the front and rear. This is an amazing feature but drastically reduces the maximum capacity down to four passengers.

The Bottom Line

This is the chance for the French maker to launch a remarkable, extremely powerful mega-hatch that will break schemes in the automotive industry. This is stunning performance coming from a plug-in hybrid powerhouse. Top-notch technologies onboard want to make a hardcore sports car, totally eco-friendly and mean-looking.

The official price hasn’t been announced yet.

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