When one hears the name Peugeot, you think of either quirky French cars or cars throwing dirt while competing in WRC. These descriptions are true, but let's not forget that the French automaker also makes environment-friendly vehicles. In fact, it has an impressive lineup of cars with clean diesels.
Now, the company has just launched a new hybrid--a fire-breathing hybrid, mind you. We're referring to the Peugeot 308 R HYbrid.
You might think the "fire-breathing" bit is just PR talk. Maybe to a certain extent, it is. But take a closer look at the car. You'll see bits that may make you think twice. The front grille, for instance, has a chic checkered pattern that effectively feeds air into the engine bay. The large air scoops on the front airdam have stylish LED lamps. The blue paintwork features glass particles and fluorescent pigments that give it a unique luster. It is the same color reserved for French competitive racing.
Inside, the 308 R HYbrid features the brand's i-Cockpit instrument cluster for a sporty yet functional vibe. The feeling is heightened by the fawn-colored seats along with red accents.
What makes the car truly special is what lies underneath the hood. Developed by Peugeot Sport, the brand's tuning division, the 308 R HYbrid is powered by a 1.6-liter THP 270 S&S gasoline engine, along with two electric motors, mounted on both front and rear axles. This triple-motor combo puts out a rousing 500hp. This is enough to catapult the car from 0 to 100kph in a Ferrari-like 4.0 seconds! Oh, and did we mention that its carbon-dioxide emissions are just 70g/km?
Apart from its rocket-like acceleration time, the 308 R HYbrid is fitted with a drive mode selector that allows the driver to switch between four styles of driving: Hot Lap, Track, Road and the eco-friendly ZEV mode. The all-wheel drive system comes as standard, and promises tremendous grip and road-holding capabilities. You can easily charge the battery when decelerating, even from its top speed of 250kph.
Now on its second generation, the Peugeot 308 is packaged in a family-friendly hatchback design. The R HYbrid is no exception. Even with a Li-ion battery in tow, space isn't a problem as this battery pack is tucked neatly underneath the rear seats where the fuel tank usually sits. The gas tank is moved to the trunk, along with the electric motor.
The 308 R HYbrid goes on sale starting this year--in other markets, that is.