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Peugeot 508 shapes up to fight SUVs

Large car ditches saloon shape for new, sporty look

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Goodbye Peugeot 508 saloon, hello Peugeot 508 fastback. The French brand’s large car is getting a new five-door body shape to offer an alternative to SUVs.

Peugeot will unveil the all-new 508 at the Geneva motor show on 6th March, with a striking new design that the brand says breaks the mould of the previous four-door saloon.

Sales of traditional cars in the large D segment have been declining, sales going instead to ever-rising numbers of SUVs. Peugeot hopes the new 508 will appeal to buyers due to its sporty look, and also take sales from premium rivals such as the Audi A7 Sportback, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé and Mercedes-Benz CLS.

The designers have worked very hard to inject a new personality into the looks of the car, using a sports coupé profile as inspiration and including such detail touches as bold window designs, frameless doors and large alloy wheels filling the arches.

Replacing the previous boot, the hatchback also adds practicality, offering a much wider access to the car’s 487-litre boot space.

Peugeot 508 The Car ExpertInside the 508 gains the latest version of Peugeot’s much-praised i-Cockpit, featuring a 12-inch head-up digital instrument panel, a 10-inch touchscreen angled towards the driver and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. An ‘Amplify’ feature allows the driver to choose either ‘Boost’ or ‘Relax’ ambient lighting.

Peugeot is not yet releasing detailed information on the powertrain line-up but states that the 508 will be available with six petrol and diesel engine options, ranging from 130 to 225hp.

Driver assistance systems will also feature heavily on the car, including a night-vision setup. This employs an infra-red camera which can detect pedestrians both at night and in poor visibility conditions – Peugeot says it is a first in the segment.

Prices for the new 508 range will be announced closer to the car’s launch, which is expected in the summer of 2018.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.