We're probably dealing with a case of an intentional leak.
Peugeot took the wraps off the discreetly updated 308 compact hatchback and wagon earlier this month, but without revealing the spicy GTI derivative. This week, the company’s Spanish division uploaded an image of the hot hatch onto its Twitter account and took it down shortly after that, but not before our eagle-eyed colleagues at Motor1 France saw the photo and grabbed it right away.
As expected, the changes on the outside are in line with those of the regular 308 model, so only hardcore fans of the lion will be able to detect the novelties at a first glance. Most of them have occurred at the front where the pattern of the upper and lower grilles has been altered while the slightly different air vents now have a bigger piece of chrome trim on the upper area.
The blue and black color combo is also debuting with the mid-cycle refresh, while at the back we are expecting to find some modest revisions to the LED taillights and perhaps a nip and tuck for the bumper, but nothing to write home about.
In the case of the standard 308, the biggest news were about the all-new or updated engines, so it will be interesting to see whether it’s going to be the same case with the GTI. Rumor has it the current turbocharged 1.6-liter gasoline engine with its 270 horsepower (200 kilowatts) and 243 pound-feet (330 Newton-meters) of torque will be massaged by Peugeot’s engineers to deliver as much as 290 hp (216 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm).
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.