What you’re looking at is a Peugeot that will crack the regulation 0-62mph sprint faster than every generation of BMW M5 except today’s. The 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered does it faster than a Ferrari 360 and in the same time as the fastest Jaguar XK – the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 XK R-S.
And yet this handsome mainstream saloon (in concept form) has just two litres of capacity to achieve its mightily swift 4.3-second launch to 62mph. A turbocharged 1.6-litre PureTech petrol engine rests at the front delivering 197bhp, alongside a further 108bhp on the same axle from the first of two electric motors.
The second, beefier motor sits at the rear axle, delivering another 197bhp shunt and four-wheel drive traction. It’s understood that this standalone electrified axle technology allows the hot hybrid 508 to drive up to 30 miles in a rear-wheel drive electric mode. Should be fun on wet roundabouts…
Top speed is mechanically limited to 155mph, according to the press release, suggesting that the car’s gearing is the capping factor. We’d like to see how fast it could go with taller ratios.
It’s a plug-in hybrid setup with WLTP-tested emissions of 49g/km in standard ‘Hybrid’ driving mode, qualifying it for all sorts of incentives and tax breaks in various markets around the world. Revised aerodynamics, including new flaps fitted to the front subframes, reduce drag while winglets on the quarter panels help to smooth the flow of air across the 508’s sleek body.
On the inside it’s a dark grey leather and Alcantara lux-fest with white and yellow contrasting stitching. The gear lever is ‘touch-sensitive’ according to Peugeot but is likely to operate as a rocker selector in a way that some Americans can’t get to grips with. The displays and instruments are digital and the lovely yellow detailing extends to logos, exterior trim and the brake calipers.
Peugeot’s first fully battery-powered car is due later this year with a slew of hybrids and BEVs to follow. The 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered will debut on the firm’s stand at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show next month.