Even the manufacturer’s press department was surprised by the announcement: Peugeot is bridging the gap between the compact 308 and its flagship 508 model and is launching the new 408 this autumn. So far, this number combination was only available in China, where a 408 notchback model was presented twelve years ago at the Beijing Motor Show.
In the meantime, the model has been replaced there by the 4008. The European version is now coming onto the market as a fastback SUV, also in response to the successful Renault Arkana, and, according to the short announcement, is aimed at “drivers for whom the vehicle is a pleasure and brings an unprecedented level of fascination into the Peugeot family”. With the new “4” in the model hierarchy, the brand is moving back into the middle class eleven years after production of the 407 was discontinued with the compact 308 in Mulhouse, Alsace. There will probably be no surprises when it comes to the drives. As with the 308, the motorization starts with the 1.2-litre three-cylinder with 130 hp, probably followed by the 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel with 130 hp and two plug-in hybrid variants with 185 hp and 225 hp. Thanks to a 15 kWh battery, according to information from the French trade press, the electric range should be around 50 kilometers. Thanks to the wheelbase of 2.80 meters and a length of around 4.70 meters, the 408 comes onto the market with plenty of space. The company plans to announce more details at the end of the month. While the 308 will be available as an all-electric model as early as 2023, the all-electric 408 will probably not be available at dealerships until a year later. Thanks to the better space, the new one will probably be able to use a larger battery than the 308 (estimated at more than 50 kWh), so that the range will be around 400 kilometers, speculates the trade journal “L’Automobile”. The electric motor is manufactured in cooperation with the Japanese company in the Moselle department and is said to achieve a maximum torque of 270 Nm. (awm)