Peugeot’s Australian operations, managed by local distributor Sime Darby, is keen to get its hands on more sporty GT models.
In the coming months, the company will launch the warmed-up 308 GT 150kW petrol and 131kW diesel hatches in Australia.
Those models, although not quite up to ‘hot hatch’ GTi standards, are expected to enter as neat companions to their regular counterparts and the smaller 208 GTi - also a compelling option with 147kW on tap.
As with Renault’s Clio GT, the 308 GT will be positioned as an option for those seeking a sporting look and feel without the cost of a top GTi model.
“Australians love performance and sports-oriented models, as proven by the response to the 208 GTi, so there is an opening for us to talk to a range of customers who don’t necessarily want the high-performance experience of a GTi variant,” Peugeot Australia marketing boss Dimitri Andreatidis said today.
“The GT Line will give us the ability to offer a vehicle that offers visual and performance upgrades, while still maintaining comfort in day-to-day driving duties.”
Initially, the 308 GT will be offered in hatch form only. But, having smashed sales expectations by nearly 300 percent since its launch late last year, the 308 Touring wagon could soon be joined here by its hotted-up GT sibling.
Speaking with TMR today, Peugeot Australia spokesperson Tyson Bowen said that the GT wagon is not yet off the table.
“The wagon is actually proving quite popular, so we’re definitely not ruling out the GT version,” Mr Bowen said.
“At this point though, we’ll be monitoring demand for the GT models and see how that goes. The [GT] wagon is definitely not impossible.”
Peugeot Australia won’t be stopping with the 308 GT, of course.
Joining the warm hatch will be the latest version of the midsized 508 GT, a sports-tuned midsizer that boasts a 150kW/450Nm 2.2 litre turbodiesel and a double-wishbone front suspension arrangement.
Beyond that, the local Sime Darby operation will look to exert some influence on the company’s French headquarters to discuss other sporting options.
“The first step in broadening the GT Line will be the launch of the all-new 308 GT in 2015. From there we will be working with France to investigate a number of opportunities to grow this segment in the future,” Andreatidis said.
Among those opportunities could be a 208 GT model, plugging the gap below the properly hot GTi model.
Reports in recent months suggest a 208 GT will debut later this year, driven by a detuned 126kW version of the GTi’s 147kW 1.6 litre turbocharged engine.
Importantly, and unlike the GTi, the 208 GT would undoubtedly be offered in five-door form, giving buyers a dose of style and power without losing out on practicality.
If the 208 GT does become reality, expect that to be at the top of Peugeot Australia’s list.