“The lion will roar again.” This has been the resounding message from Peugeot worldwide – how to make a once-great brand great again. “Small is the new big. We can leverage our boutique position and be more personal,” says Ben Farlow, Managing Director of Peugeot Citroen Australia. “We can be nimble as part of wider consumer trends.” Which brings us to one of the trickiest markets to get right in Australia: the mid-size sedan.
As we know from driving it last year, the Peugeot 508 is an elegant, sexy comeback of a car that was well, never really all that sexy. The 2019 model has already won awards around the world, due to its emotionally-driven on-road appeal. Inspired by the 504 of the 1970s, Peugeot’s design team has created one of its most beautiful sedans yet.
It’s lower and sportier than its predecessor, brags incredibly supple cabin materials, frameless windows, creative use of 3D effect LED lighting on rear and a new fang-like design language on the nose; and a sleek, fastback shape.
Peugeot are even shouting about the design in terms of its surprising drag co-efficiency, with one of the best in the segment (0.25Cd), More surprising is the sheer size of the boot – and as Wheels’ Andy Enright discovered, it comfortably fits a mountain bike – an increasingly popular unit of measurement.
This is a sedan that, on looks, would be able to stare down the fashionable Audi A5 or Volvo S60 with that confidence the French have perfected over centuries of stylish smugness.
In Australia, the 508 will initially only arrive in one guise: the 508 GT, with a 508 touring wagon confirmed for later in the year. This will be offered with a 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, producing 167kW and 300Nm through an all-new Aisin eight-speed automatic transmission.
As for gear, the 508 will include 19-inch alloys, semi-autonomous technology including cruise control and lane assist, massage seats in the front, all-new Peugeot I-Cockpit digitalised instrument cluster, hands-free tailgate with gesture control, a 515-watt, ten-speaker Focal sound system and adaptive dampers as standard.
Thanks to its EMP2 platform and the use of composite materials, it’s 70kgs lighter than its predecessor, too, and has a power to weight ratio that Peugeot claims is unmatched in the segment of 118kW/tonne.
In Australia, Peugeot will also only have two options on the table: paint and a glass panoramic sunroof. Confirmed this week, the 508 GT will be priced at $53,990.