The menacing Peugeot 308 R Hybrid concept
Woah, that doesn't look like any Peugeot I've ever seen on the road...
Right on brother, this bonkers hatchback is about as far removed from the current Peugeot line-up as things get. The 308 R Hybrid punts out 493bhp and 730Nm of torque, putting it in the same league as Mercedes' C63 AMG and Porsche's revered 911. Basically, don't expect to see it holding up traffic on a busy B-road.
Are you trying to say that all Peugeot drivers are dawdling old biddies?
Erm, no. Maybe. Anyway, this 308 R Hybrid will put an end to any nasty preconceptions as the futuristic hybrid powertrain ensures it is the most powerful hot hatch currently on the market. Although it's not on the market because it's just a concept for now.
The Peugeot 308 Hybrid and its eye-popping paint
What makes it so powerful?
The combination of a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre petrol engine, plus two electric motors - each kicking out 113bhp. That's an electric motor for each axle, meaning power is driven to all four wheels, which in turn will help prevent it flying off the road and into the nearest lamppost at the first tight corner.
Is it still, you know, practical?
That's a strange question to ask about a 493bhp mega-hatch but the answer is yes. You can still stuff four adults inside the barmy hybrid machine; it has a fully functioning boot and the interior features the same infotainment system that you'll find on any other modern Peugeot. But this is a concept, so there are a few racy additions inside too...
Big front scoops help cool the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid concept
Oh, like what?
Like the head-up display that beams information about speed, revs and gearing on to the windscreen in front of the driver. Plus, there's a set of steering wheel-mounted paddles that allow the helmsman to slam through the six-speed automatic box like an F1 ace.
Even the paint job is fancy, using fluorescent pigments and glass particles to make the intense blue colour really pop.
You said it's a hybrid… does that mean it's environmentally friendly too?
In a way, yeah. Peugeot claims its hot hybrid can hit 0-62mph in 4-seconds dead and go on to a limited top speed of 155mph, yet it kicks out just 70g/km of CO2, which means it wouldn't cost anything to tax in the UK should it ever go on sale.
And although the French marque hasn't revealed just how long it can drive on battery power alone, the 308 R Hybrid can enter a ZEV (zero emissions vehicle) mode, so it could theortically glide around silently and emission-free. Plus, it can be plugged in and recharged from a rapid terminal in just 45 minutes or the engine can act as a generator and top up the batteries on the move.
Sounds great - so how much will it cost and where can I get one?
Sorry to disappoint you but this is merely a concept for now. However Peugeot is keen to push its hybrid technology into road cars, so we could see a number of 'ultra sports' models hit showrooms in the near future. Fingers crossed.