Two models were previewed to the press – the 508 saloon, and the 508 SW, which stands for Sports Wagon and gives the car an estate-like boot.
A Peugeot spokesman revealed the Ford Mondeo has been the benchmark for the way it drives, and we’ll find out as we drive it closer to launch. Peugeot says the 508 has a sophisticated suspension system, with a bespoke setup for the sporty GT model.
A range of engines will be available, including three petrol and five diesels. A 1.6-litre diesel engine, producing 112bhp, will be the most economical in the range, returning 53.4mpg and emitting 109g/km of CO2.
A four-wheel drive diesel hybrid will be added to the line-up in 2012, using the same technology found in the 3008 MPV. This version will be the most efficient and second most powerful in the range.
Peugeot has benchmarked Audi for interior quality, which is built using high-quality, tactile materials. The instrumentation is clear and the whole cabin feels like it has been assembled with care – much like the Peugeot 3008 MPV, which sparked the French car maker’s renaissance last year.
Peugeot’s designers have ditched the controversial ‘gaping mouth’ grille of the 407 and replaced the front end with a smaller, Audi-like grille that gives the car a more upmarket appearance. The elegant SW is expected to be the more popular of the two versions for UK buyers, and will feature a full-length glass roof and roof rails as standard.
The Peugeot 508 saloon is no less attractive and although the rear has hints of the BMW 5 Series, Peugeot says three red light ‘tubes’ – which look like claws – in each taillight will give the car presence at night.
Peugeot is keen to distance the 508 from the 407 it replaces by giving it a more distinct name because of the new car’s marked improvement in quality and design. “We didn’t want it to be thought of as a revised 407”, said a Peugeot spokesman.
Although prices are still to be confirmed, Peugeot say they will be comparable with the 407. It will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks’ time.
The Peugeot 407(http://www.autotrader.co.uk/
Today there is plenty of choice on the used car market, with more than 1,100 used Peugeot 408s for sale on Auto Trader.
By Stuart Milne
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Autotrader.co.uk is the UK’s largest motoring website and ranks as the second largest ABCe audited UK website with over 360,000 vehicles listed at any one time. It has a 38% share of the automotive classified market (Hitwise, August 2007).