By Mike Torpey on 2016-05-28 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Peugeot 308 GTi THP
IT'S the plea being made by hot hatch fans since the Peugeot 308 was voted European Car of the Year.
Not satisfied with the warmer GT and GT Line versions of the compact Pug, enthusiasts wanted something, well, a bit more volcanic - like a full-blown fire-breathing GTi.
So the French manufacturer delivered a model, or two, to get pulses racing in the shape of the 308 GTi by PEUGEOT SPORT.
Powered by a 1.6-litre THP stop/start petrol engine, it is up for grabs in two versions - one developing a handy 250bhp, the other an even more sizzling 270bhp.
From the 205 GTi to the latest 208 GTi and RCZ R, Peugeot has sold its sportier models to more than 800,000 customers, a number sure to rocket with this latest dynamic duo.
With exclusive styling front and rear, the 308 GTi certainly looks the part.
It sits 11mms lower than the standard 308 and has full LED headlamps flanking a black radiator grille, its air intake surrounded by sequential LED indicators while two front spoilers sit below the bumper.
And the theme is continued inside with sports seats, red stitching on the upholstery, door panels and gear lever, and there are alloy pedals, foot rest and gearknob along with a small but chunky flat-bottomed steering wheel.
There's also a 9.7-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, sat nav, Bluetooth and a reversing camera
Want the full fat experience with extra octane and the GTi comes as standard with a Driver Sport Pack.
A prod on the centre console Sport button switches the display from white to red and shows info like power, torque, boost and both lateral and longitudinal acceleration on the central read-out.
It also boosts the engine's soundtrack and alters the accelerator pedal mapping for a more engaging driving experience.
That's exactly what you get too from a car that's composed on urban roads, grips like a go-kart round country bends and feels properly planted if you open up on the motorway.
While the higher powered variant, which costs an extra £1,600, gives you the whole shebang of more punch, Alcantara bucket seats and 19-inch alloys, the 250ps model pushes it close with its 0-62mph acceleration time of 6.2 seconds, the same top speed and the benefit of an official 47.1mpg.
You'll do well to get close to that fuel return, such is the temptation to make the most of the Peugeot's power, but we managed still managed to post an average 35mpg over the course of 300 miles.
Peugeot 308 GTi THP 250
Mechanical: 250bhp, 1,598cc 4-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 6.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 47.1
Insurance Group: 15
C02 emissions: 139g/km
Bik rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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