Shock 493bhp Peugeot 308 R HYbrid blasts into Shanghai

Peugeot has stormed into the Shanghai Motor Show with a brand new concept, the 308 R HYbrid. Developed by Peugeot’s in-house racing division, Peugeot Sport, the plug-in hybrid hatchback produces 493bhp from a 1.6-litre turbo and one electric motor on each axle, making the 308 R HYbrid four-wheel drive.

It’s loosely based around the 308 R Concept which was first showcased at the Paris Motor Show last year – a decision on whether to build it still hasn’t been made – but ups the game when it comes to performance. 

Peugeot Sport has widened the front and rear tracks by 80mm, added beefier brakes and converted the 308 into all-wheel drive. The powertrain is a combination of the 267bhp 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo you’ll find in the RCZ R, with two 114bhp electric motors bolted to each axle. Peugeot claims the result is 0-62mph in 4.0 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

Four driving modes made up of ZEV, Road, Track and Hot Lap, serve up varying degrees of performance. In its most extreme setting, the 308 R HYbrid develops the full 493bhp and 730Nm of torque but thanks to the plug-in hybrid powertrain emits only 70g/km of CO2.

In terms of style, Peugeot has looked to another concept for design inspiration. The gaping 3D air intakes, angular bumpers and the two-tone bodywork has been borrowed from the Quartz SUV concept which also debuted at last year’s Paris Motor Show. 

Given that the 308 R Concept has still yet to be given the green light, its unlikely there are any immediate production plans for the 308 R HYbrid. Yet that hasn’t stopped Peugeot bosses hinting at potential plans.

“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 at Peugeot Sport.

Its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show is likely to be more of a strategic plan to promote the 308 model range as a whole, of which a new saloon version badged the 308S has gone sale in China. 

Check out our top 10 list of the best hot hatchbacks on sale now

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