All-New and All-Important Peugeot 308 Hatchback Breaks Cover


Meet the new Peugeot 308redesigned from the ground up to be a much more distinctive car than lackluster model it replaces. Gone is the bubbly styling and awkward proportioning, and in its place, we have a sleeker looking model with the wheels pushed back to the corners – it’s not bad. This is a more mature-looking hatch, with more chiseled features, clearer lines and a very stout and purposeful rear end.
At the front the, the 4.25 meter-long 308 sports an adaptation of Peugeot's new family face, featuring slim full-LED headlamps which, according to the French brand, are “standard on the majority of trim levels and a world-first in the segment” – we thought the SEAT Leon was first, though, only high-spec cars get the swanky new diodes, so that must count too.
There’s a lot to talk about with the new 308, beginning with the use of the new EMP2 modular platform, which sheds 140 kg (309 pounds) over the outgoing model, the claimed improvement in interior quality and its “button-less” design. The latter is apparently referred to as “i-cockpit” by the team behind it, so the center-mounted 9.7-inch touchscreen unit is the main focal point.
No specific engine details were revealed today, but an ultra-green and ultra-frugal version has been announced. It emits a claimed 85 g/Km CO2, making it exempt from various fares in select countries, or simply lesser taxes in others. All in all, we’re expecting the 308, which strangely retains the exact name of its uninspiring predecessor, to be better contender in its class that includes cars like the new VW Golf and Ford Focus.
I also think they’re trying to have a kind-of revival for the old 306, the last well-handling model they had in the class, boosting the image of their entire range with sporty cars like the 208 GTi(read our impressions of the car here) or the Pikes Peak monster.
Expect to see a GTi version of the new 308 being added to the range within the next year. However, one wonders what engine they’re going to use to power it since the 1.6-liter unit with 200 hp from the old 308 GTi and now in the 208 GTi, does not provide enough grunt(in its current state of tune) to put it on par with the class average. One option could be the engine used in the upcoming RCZ R, which was rated at 260hp on the concept version.
The world premiere of the new 308 will take place in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show with sales to follow shortly after.
By Andrei Nedelea



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