Peugeot's all-new 308 GTi has been spotted undergoing its engineering shakedown runs for the first time, ahead of a projected sales debut in early 2014.
The absence of camouflage is refreshing, though besides the presence of dual exhaust tips and a lower suspension, this prototype doesn't appear all that different to the regular 308 variants that were unveiled at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show.
However, it's expected that Peugeot already has a set of more agressively-shaped front and rear bumpers - as well as sideskirts, hatch spoiler and bigger alloys - ready to go for the production car.
As with every GTi the emphasis for the hi-po 308 will be on handling, and a reduction in overall mass (the regular 308 range is lighter by some 140kg compared to the last generation, according to Peugeot) will also aid performance.
Powering the 308 GTi will be a development of PSA's familiar 1.6 litre THP turbo petrol four, with an estimated output of 147kW.
On the inside, expect heavily bolstered front seats and a smattering of other GTi-specific interior details. Though this prototype sports five doors, it's as yet unclear whether the new 308 GTi will be offered in a three-door configuration as well.
A 147kW French hot hatch not enticing enough for you? Perhaps the 199kW Peugeot 308 R might be more to you liking - if, that is, it ever makes it into production.