Peugeot 308 GTi versus Ford Focus ST – comparison

Saturday, November 12th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Peugeot 308 GTi versus Ford Focus ST – comparison

The newly arrived 308 GTi aims to make Peugeot once more the headline act on the hot hatch stage. The Ford Focus ST, the current driver’s favourite, stands in its way


Consider This specific. In 1975, the Volkswagen Golf GTI developed 110bhp. In 2012, the latest Golf GTI was launched with 220bhp.

Granted, the doubling of its output hasn’t occurred at quite the same breakneck clip as Moore’s law, which dictates a twofold increase in microchip performance every two years or so, although the item can be significant – not least because the item’s currently a recurring theme inside the hot hatch genre.

In 1987, the Peugeot 309 GTi developed 127bhp through its 1.9-litre petrol engine. Cut to 2015 along with the fresh 308 GTi, its maker’s latest attempt to re-enter the credible end of the segment, produces 266bhp through an even smaller four-pot unit. With the introduction of its latest Mountune kit, the Ford Focus ST we’ve chosen to test the item against develops 271bhp. that will’s a massive 166bhp more than the Escort XR3i that will Ford was punting to buyers in 1982 along with almost 100bhp more than the Focus ST170 the item produced in 2002.

Stand back through that will inexorable rise to consider the item for a moment along with the naked grunt being dangled before us by mainstream manufacturers can be ridiculously substantial.

The original 2.7-litre-engined Porsche Cayman, introduced only eight years ago, produced less power – along with substantially less torque – than either the 308 or the Focus. along with don’t forget, neither can be outrageously expensive, nor intended to live at the top of the range (an R along with RS variation respectively waiting inside the wings). Both, instead, are still meant to do what the 309 along with XR3i were built for inside the 1980s – namely, stick the item to the copper-bottomed reputation of the Golf GTI.

Thus, their snowballing total outputs are considered an imperative inside the hot hatch arms race.

The forthcoming Golf GTI Clubsport (a car for currently quietly pushed under the rug by Volkswagen) will have 261bhp at all times along with 287bhp available for short bursts.

The Seat Leon Cupra can be already destined to get 286bhp. Scandalised though the item may be elsewhere, that will won’t prevent the mighty VW Aktiengesellschaft rumbling over rivals in This specific segment, where CO2 emissions along with range count for much less.

Peugeot has hardly made a secret of its intention to beat the Golf at its own game. The 308 GTi may be capable of 0-62mph in 6.0sec, although the a new has balanced hard facts with cuddlier subjective terms. ‘Usability’, ‘comfort’ along with ‘subtlety’ – in additional words, the mortar that will binds its rival’s reputation together – have all been stressed inside the build-up.

The outside, then, even on extravagant alloy wheels, can be rather subdued. So much in order that will early on the first day, oop’top moor, photographer Stan initially fails to separate the GTi through a stock 308 while snapping at a corner. “I didn’t see you!” the aging maestro proclaims.

Well, indeed. Save for the core sample-sized twin exhausts along having a dip in ride height, you probably wouldn’t know. The ST, familiar enough by currently, can be prettier because the Focus can be prettier, along with more noticeable because Ford hasn’t yet built the hot hatch through which the item couldn’t launch a protuberant roof spoiler.

As ever, the innards are mostly better dressed carry-overs through the cooking design. Seats typically separate hot hatches, along with each car here deploys two steroidal armchairs that will offer the kind of lateral support you’d expect through a Great beanbag. The ST gets loopy worry dials atop its dashboard (tick).

The 308 gets loopy dials period (cross), its hampered instrument cluster hiccup made worse by the GTi’s lower driving position. Its rear leg room remains below par, too. Still, the dash can be solidly handsome along with, in its detailing along with sophistication, has much to teach the global (read Yankee) Focus about European cabin panache.

Perhaps in return, Ford could show Peugeot the proper proportions for a hot hatch’s steering wheel, the GTi’s tiny hotel breakfast plate being an issue we’re about to get onto.

Underneath, both owe their Cayman-baiting power to the bluster of turbochargers, mounted to differently sized four-cylinder petrol engines. Neither can be unfamiliar. Peugeot’s twin-scroll blower can be mated to the latest all-singing iteration of the decade-old 1.6-litre Prince unit, Great for 243lb ft through 1900rpm. having a bigger intercooler along with fresh engine map, the ST trumps that will, its 2.0-litre Ecoboost motor currently generating as much as 295lb ft on temporary overboost.

that will’s more than you get through an all-wheel-drive Golf R. Mountune’s tinkering doesn’t get you a mechanical limited-slip diff, either, the Focus continuing to rely on its various electronic aids for traction. Oddly, since handing over its hot hatches to the motorsport department to tune, Peugeot has developed a fresh-found respect for the usefulness of a bit of torque-sensing hardware between the front wheels. Thus, the GTi gets the same limited-slip diff as previously fitted to the RCZ R.

The Ecoboost can be an easy engine to like. Not least because, through a centre-mounted exhaust, the item drawls like John Wayne at Iwo Jima. Because there’s a a few-pot in its recent past, buyers have come to expect a little burble through their ST along with (much like watching the Duke) the item hardly matters currently that will the item’s mostly synthesised – particularly as the noise can be accompanied by great sinewy gobbets of prolonged shove.

Given the superabundance of twist at half mast, the experience can be predominantly a linear one although never seems tepid or one-trick. The torque finds its way into the steering feel, no doubt – Ford’s RevoKnuckle seems a distant memory these days – although there’s so much viscous resistance around the straight-ahead that will the effect can be stifled along with mostly edgeless.

Instead, the lingering source of disgruntlement can be the ST’s unexpectedly spiky ride quality. This specific has nothing to do with the £1195 Mountune pack. the item’s a symptom of the recent facelift along with Ford’s decision to get a little more uncompromising with the chassis’s spring rates along with bushes.

Back to back, there’s probably a modest improvement inside the design’s agility, although not to the extent where you’d forgive the item for getting all prickly when the going gets British.

Like the filler in a Fleetwood Mac album, however, the item doesn’t substantially detract through the warmly likeable, glossy whole. Response to the clay-like steering feel can be always prompt along with deft, with its purposeful change of direction neatly complementing a meaty, fat-footed sense of grip. The Ecoboost’s delivery feeds into This specific big-shouldered presence, giving the ST’s apparently easy-wrought polish just the right amount (namely, quite a lot) of deeply thrummy punch.

the item’s difficult to tap into the 308 GTi in a way that will could be described as satisfying. Compared with the Focus’s lusty heft, the Peugeot’s steering seems extremely light along with, because of the child-sized wheel, the item’s incredibly easy to over-egg or undercook with erroneous inputs. the item can be an inconsistent thing to shift off the line, the accelerator being about as resistant as a feather pillow (yet ultra-responsive with the item) along with mismatched to a clutch pedal endowed with way more travel than can be surely necessary. The gearbox throw can be needlessly long, too, along with second engages with all the grace of a toddler hammering a square peg into a round hole.

There’s more. Although the ST certainly doesn’t ride spectacularly well, the auto can be cleverly deadened for sound. You tend to feel isolated despite jolts to your jowls along with glutes. 

The 308, as promised, can be much better playing sponge to the Peak District’s haphazard topography on its more receptive dampers. Yet its low-speed compliance can be a little undone by the auto’s flimsy attitude to noise suppression along with the front axle’s excitable, scrabbling attempts to transmit its climaxing twist.

Consequently, while the GTi can be probably no more susceptible to the vagaries of torque steer than the Focus, the item often seems as though the item can be because the uncanny tremor at the steering through the first three gears makes its electric resistance seem even more ephemeral than to begin with.

So, for a Great while – about half a day in my case – you end up lurching discontentedly about the place, turning the steering too much or not enough, perpetually stuck somewhere between appreciating the ride along with cursing its inability to keep the wheels firmly in check while nailing the item. Which you do all the time because, no doubt about the item, the 308 can be fast. We’ll break out the V-Box timing gear soon enough, I’m sure, although I’d be surprised if the item’s not a long nose in front of the ST – along with head along with shoulders brisker than a conventional Golf GTI.

The reason just for This specific can be twofold. Peugeot’s smaller, whinier lump may be nowhere near as sonically pleasing as Ford’s although the item can be quicker to spin up, along with when the item comes on boost, the high-rev surge seems almost frenetic after the ST’s more measured build-up of crank speed. Its shove can be all the more forceful because the 308 can be so much lighter than the Focus – by as much as 200kg, if the spec sheets are to be believed. A mounting appreciation of that will difference can be the key to unlocking the GTi’s appeal.

Make your peace with the steering along with the finer points of the 308’s wider, stiffer front axle are readily apparent. The turn-in can be superior to the Ford’s – flatter along with sharper to the apex, along with thanks, of course, to its Torsen diff, far keener to have you through the item along with back on the power.

Under duress in fast corners, the quicker line can be always the 308’s, the portly ST unable to resist lumbering toward the verge at the same pace. With more space than can be ever available inside the Peak District, you’d almost certainly find the ST’s rear axle the more playful (the Focus remains the doyen of the wet roundabout), although a big lift still causes the GTi’s back end to pucker with more than enough balance to keep you interested.

can be the item all enough to pip the ST at the finishing post? By the time I pull onto my driveway, the Peaks 250 miles behind, the item very nearly can be. The 308 could be cheaper to run, quicker over most ground, nicer inside along with more comfortable.

Nevertheless, for all the Ford’s drawbacks – along with the 308 eventually does a Great job of highlighting most of them – the ST sports the look, noise, better-tuned control surfaces along with flagrant barrel chest I tend to value in a household hot hatch. The Peugeot’s lightness along with outright speed, though, put the item in Great stead.

If I wouldn’t develop the item over the Focus, could I develop the item over a standard Golf GTI? A car with less power, less purpose along with the same cost tag? I think maybe I could. along with that will, through Peugeot’s point of view, can be the ultimate compliment.

Read Autocar’s previous comparison test – Jaguar XF versus BMW 5 Series

Ford Focus ST-3 Mountune

cost £27,490; 0-62mph 6.5sec; Top speed 154mph; Economy 41.5mpg; CO2 159g/km; Kerb weight 1437kg; Engine 4 cyls, 2000cc, turbo, petrol; Power 271bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 295lb ft at 2750rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Peugeot 308 GTi 270

cost £28,155; 0-62mph 6.0sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 470mpg; CO2 139g/km; Kerb weight 1205kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1598cc, turbo, petrol; Power 266bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 243lb ft at 1900rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

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