Peugeot took the wraps off the discreetly updated 308 family hatchback and wagon earlier this month, but didn't reveal the hot GTI derivative. This week, the company’s Spanish division published an image of the hot hatch on Twitter, before quickly taking it down again – but not before our eagle-eyed colleagues at Motor1 France saw the photo and grabbed it.
As expected, the changes on the outside are in line with those of the regular 308 model, so only Peugeot experts will be able to spot the differences. Most of them have occurred at the front, where the pattern of the upper and lower grilles has been altered while slightly different air vents now have a bigger piece of chrome trim on the upper area. Hold the front page.
The blue and black 'Coupe Franche' colour combo is also debuting with the mid-cycle refresh, while at the rear, expect modest revisions to the LED taillights, perhaps a nip and tuck for the bumper, but nothing to write home about.
With the regular 308, the biggest news was either all-new or updated engines, so it will be interesting to see what Peugeot's planning for the GTI. Early indications are that the current turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine with its 270 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque will be massaged by Peugeot’s engineers to deliver as much as 290 hp and 258 lb-ft.
As for that impressive 500-hp 308 R Hybrid concept from a couple of years ago, it’s highly unlikely it will morph into a production car this generation. The silver lining will likely be a regular 308 R as hinted by Peugeot’s boss in November 2016: “There is space for something [above the 308 GTI]. I don’t have a solution but I am on it.”
We’ll just have to wait and see.