15 Best Performance Diesel Cars


Peugeot 306 D Turbo

The first time the words ‘diesel’ and ‘tuning’ seemed to coincide was when they were used in reference to the Peugeot 306 D Turbo. Thanks to the Pug’s sweet styling and sharp handling, the tuning scene started to pluck power from its 92bhp, 1.9 oil-burning engine. Using old-fashioned techniques (it has mechanical injection, so there’s no ECU remap) the 306 D can easily be boosted to 105bhp with a tweaked pump, and persuaded to run well over 150bhp with the right hardware. We’re talking front- mounted intercooler, hybrid turbo, bigger injectors, cam and head work – and then of course there’s water injection and nitrous, if you’re brave. Best of all, the usual Pug mods mean the 306 still looks smart today.

Petrol Equivalent: The GTi-6 was Peugeot’s proper 306 performance hatch, with a skittish, semi-hardcore Rallye version and less-powerful S16 or XSi counterparts. On the face of it, all look pretty similar to a D Turbo, with equivalent specs. But the hotter petrol Pugs are alive and revvy, if a little more fragile and much less frugal.


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