Peugeot has totally reinvented the three-box saloon segment by revealing a brand new 508, which absolutely isn’t a three-box saloon. Honest.
No sir, this is a new ‘fastback’ design. You can tell by the slightly elongated C-pillars, the bases of which have been moved backwards towards the boot lip and effectively shrinking that third stylistic box right down.
We’re joking around, of course, but seriously: it’s a simple saloon with a worthy 487-litre boot. The real fat to chew here is that we’re seeing the first hard evidence that Peugeot is being shunted upmarket, ultimately towards Audi.
Peugeot is already calling itself a “high-end generalist” manufacturer, which says to us that it sees Volkswagen as its closest rival right now. To keep separating the brands and to leave room for Opel/Vauxhall to operate in the mainstream between the quirky and comfortable Citroen (whose equivalent is on the way too) and the premium Peugeot, we’d expect Peugeot to keep pushing towards Audi’s level.
The sharply-dressed new car’s neat styling is heavily Germanic, indicating the way things are going. Then there’s the technology on board, which covers the likes of a 10-inch media screen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a night vision system. Very S-Class, on paper at least.
Power for the handsome new rep-mobile will come from a range of petrol and diesel engines, starting at 128bhp and reaching a 221bhp peak as a blown petrol. It will be the latest step in something of a renaissance for the brand. After all, all of its recent new cars have been really quite good…