Peugeot GTi healthy

fun and efficiency

Peugeot 308 GTi, front, static
Peugeot 308 GTi, front, action
Peugeot 308 GTi, handling
Peugeot 308 GTi, rear, static
Peugeot 308 GTI, side action
Peugeot 308 GTI, rear static
Peugeot 308 GTI, front static
Peugeot 308 GTi, boot
Peugeot 308 GTi, interior

IN a world of Captain Sensible and the family-first car every so often something happens to restore laddishness, and here it is.

Those Calvins you wear, Bill Grundy's, trolleys, skid pants call them what you will, well now you can own a pair of crackers in which to cultivate casual vegetables while beating off the elements with a sturdy foundation garment.

This is a Swedish idea to save the world through banana hammock recycling and not as exciting as it seems.

Oh yes, there we were considering the endless possibilities of spuds in the gusset and, eventually one imagines, soft fruits like plums.

What in fact we have is self-composting knickers.

I thought this was a new idea?

Anyway it brings a bit of light relief to a dull existence.

Rather like the Peugeot 308 GTi.

Sporting fun on the road is that love that almost dare not speak its name these days.

Economy is king.Green is the new loud.

The GTi is the latest in a long line of French hot hatches, this one knocked out by Peugeot Sport and yet another step towards restoring the badge as a petrolhead's delight.

It is driven by the same 1,600cc, 268bhp engine used in the RCZ R with an updated injection system which give better torque and power delivery up the range.

Setting it aside from the rest of the 308 line-up is a lowered ride height, wider track and stiffer suspension.

That translates into handling which is best described as yeee-ha!

The performance numbers which go with that are a 0-60mph time of six seconds which should be hot enough for all but the most dedicated fan of Dante and a maximum of 155mph but, short of a holiday trip to the ‘Ring, I don't know anywhere you will see that.

Consumption has to be mentioned somewhere so, for the record, there is a claim that you can squeeze 47mpg out of the GTi via judicious use of the six-speed gearbox and dainty application of the right clog.

That, however, would be missing the point.

The turbo engine may seem reserved at first but press the sport button and the glares will start to rain down.

Burbling growls are not considered correct for current polite society.

Neither is pointing out that the sport division has all but eliminated body movement and crisp accuracy is the strong point.

Even so the ride is quiet enough with no spinal damage to speak of over our delightful road surfaces.

Want to save the NHS some money?Fix the blasted tarmac.

That's not to say the car is limited to performance antics, it makes a good long range motor with the sports seats keeping fatigue at bay and with acceptable road noise given the effects of 19-inch alloys.

So what's in the detail?

Well a full GTi body kit sets the car apart with red grille lettering and a chequered flag design while there are skirts front and side and a monster portions twin exhaust.

Inside the style cues continue with red stitched half leather, alloy sills and pedals.

The cabin is a tactile, quality place to be, something Peugeot are so good at these days and there is no shortage of kit.

Electricals are dominated by a 9.7-inch touchscreen with navigator and all entertainment requirements including a DAB radio and Bluetooth.

I find DAB frustrating up here in't grim north because the signal can be so bad, ho hum.

For your comfort and convenience dual climate control, speed limited cruise, automatic lights and wipers and electric handbrake are fitted.

To keep paintwork unblemished there is a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

SEAT and Ford may suggest more good sense where value is concerned but this is sheer fun and games for £29,335.

Begging the question: is that a courgette in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

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