Malaysian Peugeot distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd has started taking orders for the C-segment Peugeot 308, set to be available in Peugeot showrooms in January 2009. Two variants will be available, the Peugeot 308 VTi and the Peugeot 308 Turbo.
The Peugeot 308 VTi is a C-segment car powered by the 1.6 litre BMW-PSA Prince engine with Valvetronic throttle-less operation, the same unit found in the MINI Cooper producing 120 PS and 160Nm of torque. It will compete against other 1.6 litre C-segment cars, which is basically the 1.6L Mazda 3 and the 1.6L Toyota Corolla Altis.
The powerful Peugeot 308 Turbo is powered by a 1.6 litre engine, but it is turbocharged with direct injection to produce 150 PS at 5,800rpm and 240Nm of torque constantly from 1,400rpm all the way to 5,000rpm. It is a detuned version of the 175hp unit in the MINI Cooper S and the Peugeot 308 GT. This will position the 308 Turbo head to head against 2.0 litre C-segment vehicles such as the Lancer 2.0 and Civic 2.0. Don’t be fooled by its 150 PS output, it’s got really good best-in-class torque levels equivalent to a 2.4L engine and the high torque is also achieved from a low RPM point, so expect the 308 to be a very smooth and easy drive around town.
Of course, one difference between the 308 and its competitors listed above is the fact that both the variants mentioned above are 5-door hatchbacks (only the 308 GT is a 3-door hatch) while all its competitors are sedans, except for the Mazda 3 2.0 hatchback and Ford Focus 2.0 hatchback. But you can expect similiar competitive price levels with 1.6 litre and 2.0 litre cars.