Meeting with the elegant flagship of the French brand
It is very different from the middle class Peugeot such as 404, 504, 405, 406, 407. It is also very different from its direct predecessor 508 of the first generation. And no, this is not a euphemism for something else, given the assumption that every new car should be better than its predecessor. It is about something else, about a completely different philosophy ...
Although it has sedan-like features and is actually a fastback, the new 508 has a mid-range coupe look like Audi A5 or VW Arteon, especially since the windows have no frames.
The low and sloping roofline has given rise to special design decisions, forming a domed profile over the heads of the rear passengers. There is less space than in the Passat, and low-height windows limit the view. It is not cramped here, but not at all spacious.
The right to be different
The layout line has also been carried over to the 508 SW wagon, which looks more like a shooting brake than a classic in the genre. Peugeot can afford it for one simple reason - middle-class cars are not what they used to be.
Typical "company cars" for mid-level employees who also use them as a family car. These features are now taken from the various SUV models that everyone needs, regardless of weight or size.
Now the term "station wagon", which a few years ago referred to mid-size station wagon models, is more associated with SUV models. They offer van capacity with off-road visibility and vehicle dynamics.
In this case, it is not surprising that Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato openly told the automotive media that he is not worried about the sale of the 508, because the latter will not change the company's balance sheets. 60 percent of Peugeot's profits come from SUV sales, and 30 percent from light commercial models and combination versions based on them.
If we assume that a significant share of the remaining 10 percent falls on small and compact models, then for a representative of the middle class, 508 will remain the minimum percentage. Well, this is not quite the case in China, so there the model will receive more substantial marketing attention and a longer wheelbase.
However, 1,5 million classic mid-range cars are still sold worldwide. Peugeot will not be hurt unless a buyer opts for a 508 for their corporate fleet or for their family. And if he nevertheless asks about it, he will have to observe the increased prices, which, albeit slightly, but exceed the prices for the VW Passat.
Bearer of style
Since the 508 is no longer as important to Peugeot, its overall concept may be changed. First off, the design ... the 508 may not bring much profit to the SUV lineup, but it is definitely the nicest car in the brand's portfolio.
The new car carries with it something of the allure of the Pininfarina 504 coupe and its exterior will definitely give a significant boost to sales of the rest of the model. Something like a serious image carrier, as marketing circles would say.
The aforementioned coupé shapes, a unique scowl at the front with pirate scars (maybe from a lion), LED lights and an embossed front cover give the look a serious, masculine and dynamic look, complemented by classic styling cues such as the curved upward side lines at the stern.
It all ends with an amazing rear end ensemble with incredible flexibility and a common stripe that unites the headlights with the characteristic Peugeot signature and the sense of the lion's claws.
However, this is not just a design issue. We have repeatedly mentioned that in order to have a good reputation, a car must be of good quality, with small gaps and smooth hinges, which contribute to the overall unification of forms in the eyes of the viewer.
This is a big leap for Peugeot in the middle class, because the new 508 is not only the most high-tech, but also the most "premium" model of the brand, the merits of which are largely due to the new EMP2 platform (the previous 508 was based on the PF2) multi-layer "construction", which Peugeot “modestly” rates as better than the VW MQB and equivalent to the Audi longitudinal platforms. It may seem like an exaggeration, but the fact is that the new Peugeot 508 really looks impressive.
This fully applies to the interior with high quality materials and a specific composition of the dashboard. Initially for people who drove cars with a classic instrument layout, the so-called. The i-Cockpit with a small and low steering wheel with a flat bottom and top and a dashboard located above it looks strange, but it soon gets used to it and starts to become pleasant and even exciting.
Noticeable at first sight
Overall, the 508 has become a “driving” car for which front passengers are important, and in this context it is looking for a wealthier and more demanding young audience. There is room in the back seat too, but that has nothing to do with models like the Mondeo, Talisman or Superb.
But the 508 isn't aimed at competition at all. At 4,75 meters, it is much shorter than the Mondeo and Superb at 4,9 meters. At 1,4m, it is much lower, which is another advantage of the EMP2, allowing it to build fairly tall vehicles like the Rifter.
Another advantage that even SUV models do not allow is the integration of a dual transmission, and a little later the range will be expanded with a model with an electric rear axle drive. On the other hand, the 508 is more of a springboard for the highest possible suspension in the brand's lineup, with MacPherson strut elements at the front and a multi-link solution at the rear with the option to add adaptive dampers.
However, despite the big leap made by the Peugeot lion, dynamics cannot be achieved BMW 3 series with its perfect balance of weight and rear / dual drive. However, the 508 manages clean and pleasant turns, especially when equipped with the adaptive dampers in question, and with the control mode configuration.
The transverse engines of the French model are reduced to varieties of a 1,6-liter gasoline engine with 180 and 225 hp, a 1,5-liter diesel with 130 hp. and a two-liter diesel engine with a capacity of 160 and 180 hp.
Peugeot does not mention a word about abandoning diesel - let's not forget that it appeared in the brand's lineup in the mid-range model (402), has a 60-year tradition in its history and is one of the most important. merits.
Diesel is important for Peugeot
All machines already have WLTP and Euro 6d-Temp certificates. Only 130 hp diesel can be equipped with a mechanical transmission (6-speed). All other options are mated to the Aisin eight-speed automatic transmission, which has already become very popular with manufacturers of transverse engine models.
The driver assistance systems, connectivity and overall ergonomic concept are at an exceptional level.
Peugeot's designers and stylists have done an excellent job. This could include designers, because such a vision cannot be achieved without quality and precision.
The EMP2 platform is a good foundation for this. It remains to be seen whether the market will accept a model born of this vision, which is reflected in the car's pricing policy.