Once upon a time it seemed that Peugeot had given up on hot hatches, only for the 208 GTI Peugeot Sport to arrive and remind everyone that it very much still knew how to make one. Similarly, a brilliant Peugeot sports saloon hasn't existed for a very long time; the 405 Mi16 was exceptional, and the 406 pretty much peak Peugeot in the 1990s: nothing else quite handled and rode as well. Now, though, the fast four-door Peugeot is finally back, with the four-wheel drive 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered.
Sounds familiar? It should, as a 508 PSE concept was shown just last year. Sadly, this production variant isn't quite as potent, though it carries over the use of a hybrid powertrain with a combustion engine and two electric motors. Here it makes 360hp and 384lb ft, enough for 5.2 seconds to 62mph and 155mph. Battery capacity isn't yet confirmed, though Peugeot claims 26 miles of electric range at up to 86mph. That sort of performance currently makes the 508 a unique offering, more powerful than something like a BMW 330e and probably more comparable with the larger, six-cylinder (though likely more expensive) 545e. On the official WLTP test, the Peugeot returns 46g/km and 139mpg.
This is more than just hybrid parsimony and a jazzy bodykit, though; as hinted at by previous Peugeot Sport concepts like the 308 R Hybrid; the 508 has been thoroughly overhauled to (hopefully) deliver on the promise of a "perfect combination of sportiness and technology". To that end the PSE features wider tracks than the standard 508, reworked steering, Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, variable dampers and 380mm front brake discs with four-piston calipers.
Managing all that powertrain and chassis technology are five driving modes for the Peugeot Sport Engineered. There's Electric, Comfort (which combines both power supplies), Hybrid (which chooses a power source for best efficiency), Sport for the full 360hp and stiffest chassis plus a 4WD setting.
Though just three images have been released thus far, Peugeot has confirmed that all 508 PSE models will features Kryptonite-coloured accents, 20-inch wheels and black painted exhausts, badges and diffuser. It will be offered in Selenium Grey, Nera Black and Pearl White.
It all sounds pretty encouraging; Peugeot even says that carrying capacity is unchanged for the new performance 508s, above the floor at least, which will be a real boon in the wagon. Battery charging takes less than two hours via a 7kW supply, and even if the car has to go into a domestic socket a full charge takes less than seven hours. It'll look very good on a company car list to all involved, surely...
For now, Peugeot hasn't done anything more than announce this 508 as the first member of the new Peugeot Sport Engineered high-performance division. However, it promises that more "electrified machines with the power to create new sensations and driving experiences" are coming. Which is cause for celebration, given how good cars like the RCZ R and 208 GTI Peugeot Sport were, and how well received modes like the new 208 have been. More details on pricing and availability for the Peugeot Sport Engineered 508s when we have them.
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