Thursday 22 February 2018

A trump card stacks the deck

508

PEUGEOT is describing its new 508 (which replaces the 407 and 607) as their ‘trump card’.

Let me tell you that the photograph only tells half the story. It is a much different, and much more impressive, motor in the flesh.

Its striking features are the ‘ledge’ design that runs from headlight to rear-light cluster, giving the car a visual dimension. Volvo tried this with their S80, but made it far too blocky. This is much more subtle and works, especially the slightly elevated, curving bonnet.

There’s an upmarket touch to the front and the rear is lifted by the wraparound ‘claw’ lights. I wouldn’t be as taken with the SW (station wagon), but that’s a matter of taste.

Sadly, the new 508 (saloon and estate) doesn’t get here until April 29 next year, by which time you’d expect the bulk of 2011 sales to have been completed.

Anyway, when it does arrive it will have a 1.6-litre diesel (112bhp, 124g/km/Band B) as its main focus. There will be a stop-start eHDI version after that (114g/km initially, but 109g/km by summer 2011) at a €500 premium.

And the following February/ March there will be a 508 diesel hybrid. No idea of price, or spec, for next year’s arrival, but there is no doubt they are targeting the new VW Passat (to be unveiled at Paris) head on. You can see why when you look at the 508.

The only thing against it at this stage is the timing of its arrival on the market.

Inside there is plenty of room and a well-laid-out cabin. You’ll notice, in particular, that there’s plenty of rear room. And the boot has loads of space and easy access.

Families and high-mileage drivers form the core of the 508’s market. This car has a major task for Peugeot in a market that grows more vicious by the year, but it may very well be a ‘trump card’.

- Peugeot will have a new 1-litre three-cylinder petrol soon – for the new 208 in 2010. And it will show off a new concept at Paris.

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