French automaker Peugeot is launching a new generation of its 308 hatchback at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, and to help build excitement will also roll out this performance-oriented concept version. Dubbed the 308 R, the concept hints at a hotted-up Peugeot 308 that if built would target the likes of the Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST.

The 308 R concept is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, which rates at 270 horsepower and is found in the Peugeot RCZ R sports coupe, which also debuts in Frankfurt next month. Peak torque registers at 243 pound-feet and is available from a low 1,900 rpm.

Drive is channelled to the front wheels, via a six-speed manual transmission and a Torsen differential. The wheels are 19-inch light alloys wrapped with 235/35 tires, and inside them sit four-piston brake calipers and Alcon discs.

The concept gets a number of unique body panels, which are made out of carbon fiber and bolted directly to the regular 308’s lightweight platform. That platform is Peugeot’s new EMP2 modular set, which is also found in the latest Citroën C4 Picasso and is said to be around 300 pounds lighter than the platform in the previous 308.

But to further improve dynamics, the 308 R also sports lowered suspension and a wide track--up to 30 millimeters wider at the front. At the rear, there is a discreet roof spoiler and a bumper with an integrated diffuser. Also integrated with the rear bumper is a pair of square-shaped exhaust tips.

Inside, there’s a driver-focused cockpit with a big 9.7-inch touch-screen display mounted in the dash. Peugeot explains that the dash was designed so that the displays can be viewed over and not through, helping to reduce driver distractions.

Sales of the new Peugeot 308 commence in Europe after the car’s Frankfurt debut. Hopefully, we’ll see a production version of the 308 R in the not too distant future. For more from the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show, click here.


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