- Limited edition of only 400 cars
- Terrific chassis
- Mechanically reliable
Introduced in 1993, the 306 was tasked with replacing the awkward-looking 309. With a range including estate and cabriolet models, the car enjoyed considerable success until 2002. Its GTI model strategy had worked well with the 205, so Peugeot took the same approach with the 309. The 1.9-litre engine from the 205 was therefore installed in the 309, but by the start of the 1990s, it was essential for any sporting model to have a multi-valve cylinder head. Peugeot therefore fitted the 16-valve engine from the 405 MI 16 under the bonnet of the 309. Producing 160bhp, the 309 GTI 16 became a benchmark in the hot hatchback class, only its design and the quality of its finish counting against it. The 306 S16’s mission was to succeed the 309; the GTI label was dropped as it was no longer so fashionable. With a highly effective chassis, precise steering and passive rear-wheel steering, the 306 S16 cornered beautifully. Only the new emission regulations went against it, as they forced Peugeot to fit a catalytic converter which reduced the power from its 2-litre engine to 150bhp.
In 1993, Peugeot presented the 306 S16 Le Mans, a limited edition of 400 cars to celebrate the 905’s victories at the 24 Hours race in 1992 and 1993. Finished in Lucifer Red, this version can be recognised by its special badges and stickers, the interior trimmed in black leather and alcantara and a carbon fibre-effect centre console.
The car which we are presenting for sale is a 306 S16 Le Mans first registered on 10 March 1994. Bought in 2011 by its current owner, it is number 316 in the series. As originally supplied, it is fitted with the 2-litre engine developing 150bhp and a five-speed manual gearbox. Having covered just over 116,000km (72,000 miles), the car is now in very good overall condition. In 2018, several jobs were carried out. On the mechanical side, the radiator was replaced at the same time as the timing belt. The rear suspension was also overhauled. All four tyres are new, as are the rear brake hoses.
The car was completely resprayed in Lucifer Red in the spring and the wheels refurbished. The interior has remained in relatively good condition, the comfortable part-leather and alcantara seats providing perfect support. In addition, the front seat cushions have been redone.
We were won over by the car when we tested it, thanks to its punchy acceleration and sharp handling. It has lost none of its original vigour, and every minute spent behind the wheel is a sheer delight. Offered today at a very attractive price, this 306 S16 Le Mans represents a fine opportunity to acquire a true car for the collector whose value should increase in the years to come.