Peugeot 306 GTI-6

25 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Peugeot 306 GTI-6
Peugeot 306

Peugeot 306

GTI-6 (1996)

C ar magazines here used to call Peugeot 306 GTI-6 King of the Twisty . While that title might be a little exaggerated #8211; a fast Impreza, Evo or Integra Type R certainly ran faster on twisty roads #8211; it did reflect how great the Peugeot controlled its motion and engaged its driver on challenging roads.

Judging on pure driving fun instead of speed, the 306 GTI-6 deserved the highest regard. It had one of the most feelsome helms in the industry, which told you the surface textures, how much grip was left and how hard it was cornering by varying weight and twitching in your hands. Few cars could match its eagerness to slip into corners.

Its passive rear-wheel steering #8211; enabled by using soft bushings at its torsion-beam rear axle #8211; resulted in a turn-in sharper than many rear-drive machines. Its interactive chassis balance encouraged you to apply lift-off oversteer to aid cornering. Mind you, it was far safer than the old 205 GTI, because the oversteer was more progressive and it occurred only when you pushed the car very hard. The 306 GTI-6 also displayed terrific body control and a surprisingly compliant ride.

In addition to the spacious cabin, supportive bucket seats and family-hatch usability, it was truly an all-rounder!

Peugeot 306

The GTI-6 started life in 1993 as 306 S16. Although that car shared most of its excellent handling and ride, it lacked a good powertrain to match. In 1996, Peugeot updated it to GTI-6 (the French market and most European countries kept the S16 badge) with a refreshed face, a heavily improved engine and a new 6-speed gearbox (which explained its new name).

The 2-liter 16-valve engine got a new aluminum resonance intake manifold and tuned exhaust manifold for smoother power delivery and a better torque curve. Lighter con-rods and valve tappets raised its maximum rev to 7300 rpm, enabling a free-revving manner not found on its predecessor, while lifting output from the previous 150 hp (or 155 hp non-cat) to 167 hp.

It was not as powerful as Honda’s VTEC or Mitsubishi’s MIVEC at the very top end, but it was easily more flexible and more usable at lower rev. Meanwhile, the 6-speed gearbox offered smooth and precise gearchange, and its closely stacked ratios aid acceleration in the twisty.

Today, the 306 GTI-6 and Rallye might look painfully slow from figures, but their ability to engage and thrill the driver is largely lost in modern hot hatches, including Peugeot’s own 206 S16/GTI, 207 RC/GTI and 308 GT. It could be the last great Peugeot hot hatch.

Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
Peugeot 306
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