► Peugeot reveal 308 R HYbrid concept
► Madcap 492bhp hybrid hyper-hatch
► Treat for Shanghai motor show goers
If hybrids are the future and hot hatches the past, let us introduce you to the very French melting pot where two cultures collide: the new Peugeot 308 R HYbrid concept car.
A world debut lined up for the 2015 Shanghai motor show, it's what can only be described as a hyper-hatch, complete with 492bhp petrol-electric powertrain bursting out of a regular 308 hatchback bodyshell.
The go-faster wizards of Peugeot Sport have been involved and claim that the four-wheel drive R hybrid can demolish the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.0sec.
The 492bhp Peugeot 308 R HYbrid in detail
This is a hot hatch iteration of the engine shown in the Quartz crossover concept from the 2014 Paris motor show - a 23-inch-wheeled SUV coupe we described as the Steppenwolf from France.
The spec looks something like this:
Petrol engine 1.6-litre petrol turbo, 266bhp
Electric motors 2x 85kW/113bhp
Total system power 492bhp
Battery pack 3kWh lithium-ion battery, under rear seats
Top speed 155mph (limited)
CO2 emissions 70g/km
Plug-in charging time 45 minutes
Each axle is powered by its own electric motor; the front one is mated to the six-speed manual transmission, while the rear e-motor can be used for purely electric running in EV mode. Drivers can choose the horsepower on tap, by choosing Road (296bhp), Track (395bhp) and Hot Lap (492bhp) modes.
It looks very... aggressive!
Indeed it does. There's the same vulgar twin-tone paintjob as the 208 GTI 30, here with blue and matt black contrast, for that suitably bruised look.
But the 308 has been stretched on the rack, those wheelarches swelling by 80mm to accommodate a wider track for the 235/35 R19 rubber.
What's perhaps most exciting about this seemingly pie-in-the-sky concept car is the prospect of a production 308 hot hatch. We'd anticipate a GTI first, rather than a full-blown R like on our delightful RCZ R long-term test car.
'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,' said Bruno Famin, director of Peugeot Sport.
Consider our interest piqued...