Peugeot unveils 508 Sport Engineered hybrid sedan and wagon
Peugeot unveils its most powerful production car ever.
Peugeot's racing division has given the beautiful 508 an injection of hybrid power.
Most powerful factory Peugeot, ever
Peugeot proudly announced at an event celebrating the French carmaker's 210-year anniversary, its most powerful production car to date. It boasts an impressive 268kW and a hefty 520Nm. These figures are achieved by combining the output of an internal combustion engine with twin electric motors, one up front and one at the back.
That set-up makes the 508 Sport Engineered a four-wheel drive, in turn increasing grip and traction.
Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered stats
- 0-100km/h – 5.2 seconds
- 80-120km/h – 3.0 seconds
- Top speed – electronically restricted to 250km/h
With those kinds of numbers, the 508 Sport Engineered is going to be a bit of a rocket. Plus, with official fuel economy figures sitting at a minuscule 2.03L/100km, it's also a car that will tread lightly on your wallet and the environment.
Peugeot has developed five-drive modes for the 508 Sport Engineered, accessed via the centre console. They are:
- Electric-only: Using the front and rear electric motors, the 508 Sport Engineered can travel up to 42km according to WLTP figures. This mode appears to be speed-limited to 140km/h.
- Comfort mode: A hybrid mode that makes the dampers more supple, for a giving and pleasurable ride.
- Hybrid mode: Hybrid mode automatically switches between electric or fossil-fuel propulsion for the best possible efficiency.
- Sport: When you want every scrap of performance, you'll want to drop into Sports mode. This summons full power, while also tweaking the shocks, steering feel and throttle pedal response curve. In this setting, the traditional internal combustion engine keeps the hybrid battery cell topped and brings, what Peugeot describes as, "maximum power at all times".
- 4WD: For when the road surface gets slippery, the 508 Sport Engineered has an AWD mode.
Designers have given the performance sedan (a wagon was also shown in the launch video) a more edgy set of clothes to wear.
At the pointy end, there's a different grille, a reshaped bumper, some vibrantly-coloured vents and the Kryptonite emblem. Down the flanks, you'll spot unique-to-the Sport Engineered trim pieces. At the back, Peugeot applies an electrolytic process to the exhaust finishers, to make them black. These match a gloss black centre diffuser, giving the car some extra aerodynamic credentials. Around the car, you'll spot black badges that indicate the car's true intentions.
Reportedly, the hybrid system doesn't rob any of the interior room or boot capacity when compared with a standard 508 fitted with a non-electrified engine, as is often the case. This is thanks to what Peugeot describes as clever packaging and placement.
You can buy the Sport Engineered in one of three exclusive colours, a sophisticated grey finish, a mean-looking black paint or a brilliant white pearl.
Sporty handling and ride
It's all well and good having a car that'll be a ripper in a straight line if it can't handle corners. Fortunately, the boffins in the Sports department have altered the set-up of the standard car to suit. It now has:
- Adjustable shocks, with three settings (Comfort, Hybrid or Sport).
- Wider stance, 24mm at the front and 12mm at the rear. This should help the car remain planted through corners. Engineers also lowered the body.
- Large, 380mm front brake discs, with four-piston, Peugeot Sport Kryptonite callipers – on paper, these sound like meaty anchors.
- 20-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S treads. With a smaller sidewall, the steering will be more immediate and Michelin's Pilot Sports tyres are renowned for being sticky. They are becoming the go-to rubber for manufacturers building performance models.
- Chassis adjustments and steering set-up tuning should help the 508 Sport Engineered hook up when tackling twisty roads.
- Peugeot installs a Sport Engineered-badged, smaller-diameter steering wheel, making turning feel more immediate.
Topping up the batteries
Owners of a 508 Sport Engineered can plug into the grid to recharge. Charge times vary from seven hours on a standard plug, to as little as two hours on a dedicated wall charger.
The infotainment system is branded Peugeot Sport Engineered, carrying the performance theme into the passenger compartment. Peugeot bolts in some part-leather seats, which feature mesh sections and Alcantara® panels. The upholstery is nicely contrasted with grey and "Kryptonite" stitching.
The default sound system is provided by FOCAL®, which should emit high-fidelity audio throughout the cabin.
This particular 508 has a heap of safety equipment fitted. For a start, you get Peugeot's super cool night vision, which can detect oncoming obstacles the eye doesn't register. Then, there's Adaptive Cruise Control (with a stop and go function for traffic), a Lane Departure Warning System and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
If that wasn't enough, Peugeot also equips the car with its i-Cockpit system, which has a large 10-inch infotainment screen, as well as a head-up display.
Who is Peugeot Sport?
Think of it like the M Division at BMW, or Mercedes-Benz's AMG. Peugeot's Sports arm has some serious pedigree and a trophy case to match, including World Rally and Endurance Championships. It also boasts experience building competition cars for the gruelling Dakar rally and assembling Pike's Peak record breakers. The team manufactures the performance sedan in Mullhouse, close to the Swiss-German border of France.
When will it arrive in Australia?
A local launch is yet to be set, but Peugeot states the car will be available for order from the middle of October in some markets.
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