It’s been a long time since the Peugeot 508 was first unveiled in 2011, but the company has just pulled the wraps off an all-new second-generation version of the sedan that will certainly cause many to have a second think about getting a zombie lion on their next new car.
The new 508 will officially be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in a couple of weeks, but clearly the French car maker couldn’t wait to show the world its new car, which is keen to remind everyone that SUVs aren’t going to have it easy.
Bucking the trend of ever-bigger cars, the new 508 is 60 millimeters (2.3 inches) lower and 80 mm (3.1 in) shorter than before, while gaining 20 mm (0.8 in) in width.
The new sedan certainly looks sharp, with a distinctive grille design, aggressive front and rear lights and frameless doors that speak of ambitions to be more than a merely middle-of-the-road car.
Trunk space has been increased by 14 liters to 487, and practicality improved thanks to a better opening. The rear seats fold to create a cavernous 1,537-liter load space.
There’s no escaping the i-Cockpit, which Peugeot has stuck with and now introduced across the whole of its range. The small steering wheel and high-mounted instrument panel has divided opinion, but the 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and 10-inch centrally mounted touchscreen are certainly distinctive.
Ambient lighting and massage seats are a fancy touch, as well as the range of interior finishes available in leather, Alcantara and real wood.
There’s one gasoline engine available at launch in two power ratings – the 1.6-liter unit comes with 177 horsepower and 217 hp ratings and can be specced with an eight-speed auto transmission. There are two BlueHDi diesel engines available in 1.5-liter and 2-liter guises. The diesel engines come with 128 hp, 158 hp, and 177 hp power outputs and either six-speed manual or the aforementioned eight-speed automatics. Peugeot claims a weight loss between generations of around 70 kilograms (154 pounds), which will boost economy. A plug-in hybrid version of the car arrives in 2019.
The new Peugeot 508 is equipped with a wide range of driving assistance technologies, from emergency automatic braking and adaptive cruise control to lane holding, automatic main beam switching and sign recognition. The new 508 can even be ordered with a night vision system.
The new car is set to be officially launched at the Geneva Motor Show in a few weeks and will go on sale in Europe later this year. Prices are yet to be announced.
Gallery: 2018 Peugeot 508
The New PEUGEOT 508: the radical saloon!
The new PEUGEOT 508 changes everything. Its structure is more compact and its height reduced. The new exterior design is sharper and more robust, while the car’s spectacular interior includes an evolution of the iconic PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®. Its exemplary road-handling, new engines, countless technology features and quantum leap in quality means the new PEUGEOT 508 sets a world class standard within the D-segment and further supports the Brand’s upmarket strategy.
“The new PEUGEOT 508 is finally here! Following the success of our latest major launches and our SUV offensive with the PEUGEOT 2008, 3008 and 5008 models, we needed a vision for the large PEUGEOT saloon that would continue to shake up the market with a vehicle that rivals the best. And in D-segment cars, we’re competing with the world’s greatest automakers. More than ever, the new PEUGEOT 508 embodies the ambition we’ve been stating for several years already: to make PEUGEOT the top high-end generalist automotive brand.”
Jean-Philippe IMPARATO, PEUGEOT CEO
A changing concept for a changing segment
In the European market, the traditional D-segment saloon has been stagnant for the last four years, after more than a decade of decline. Under pressure from a diverse range of customer preferences and designs, especially from the SUV market, the large saloon now only finds favour through offering wider variety and adopting a more pronounced identity, .
It was against this backdrop that the designers behind the new PEUGEOT 508 stated their clear aim: to move away from the conventional boot-lid, four-door shape and towards a five-door fastback coupé-saloon.
A bold design
“The design of the new PEUGEOT 508 completes an entirely revamped range. It benefits from all the stylistic features we included in our latest concept cars like the PEUGEOT Exalt and the PEUGEOT Instinct. The i-Cockpit® in the new PEUGEOT 508 is actually taken directly from the Exalt concept car.”
Gilles VIDAL, PEUGEOT Director of Design
At first glance, the new PEUGEOT 508 surprises onlookers with an energetic and expressive presence. The car’s height has been reduced – it now barely reaches 1.40 m – and the aerodynamic lines of the vehicle are reminiscent of the coupé style.
The front end is impressive, even aggressive. The finely fashioned, radiator grill with chrome-plated chequerboard asserts itself between the Full LED headlights, inspiration for which was drawn straight from the brand’s latest concept car: PEUGEOT Instinct. With the famous lion centred on its radiator grill and the 508 logo upon the nose of the bonnet, the new PEUGEOT 508 pays tribute to its acclaimed predecessors, the PEUGEOT 504 and 504 coupé.
The vertical visual signature of the opalescent LED daytime running lights provides a distinct, exclusive identity. Sharp and slender, they frame the car’s front end, running from the headlights to the bumper’s air intakes.
The horizontal bonnet has been lowered as much as possible to enhance the dynamism of the new PEUGEOT 508 and the overall silhouette has been designed to appeal from every angle. This attention to bodywork design is usually reserved for the most premium of vehicles. All of these standout features at the front of the new PEUGEOT 508 culminate to give the car a real sense of quality and character, all of which are perfectly aligned with modern PEUGEOT design language.
The roof line of the new PEUGEOT 508 is low and sleek, following the premium sector design cues. The car appears compact: its length is limited to 4.75 m, vs 4.83m of the outgoing car, for improved manoeuvrability. The low glazed surfaces further sharpen the car’s outline and reveal frameless doors. Nothing spoils the model’s silhouette: there is no conventional overlap of the bonnet, glazing support and door frames; gap and flush-fitting have been reduced in size with first-class know-how; the wheels have been adjusted to perfectly fill the wheel arches; and the roof aerial has been removed (now silk-screened). PEUGEOT has utilised its expert knowledge to maximise the car’s aesthetic appeal and quality.
Spanning the rear end and framed between the rear lights is the glossy black horizontal stripthat now characterises PEUGEOT’s latest vehicles. Yet what immediately stand out are the three-dimensional Full LED rear lights. Taken straight from the design of the most recent PEUGEOT concept cars and first seen on Quartz, these lights, which are illuminated throughout the night and day with adaptive intensity, make the coloured claws constantly visible. To further impress, these iconic lights will differ in appearance depending on side or full rear view. They are instantly identifiable and a clear signature of the brand.
The back of the car also reveals an original feature of the new PEUGEOT 508: a deftly hidden tailgate that blends elegance with practicality and gives optimal access to the 487-litre boot. (See detailed description on page 12).
Three questions for ... Pierre-Paul MATTEI, Design Director for the new PEUGEOT 508
What guided you in designing the new PEUGEOT 508?
“We were assigned the task of expressing the project's aim in the car’s design. This aim was twofold: to embody the brand’s move upmarket and ensure the car could find its place in the highly demanding market of D-segment saloons. The new PEUGEOT 508 would have to be based on unique and spectacular proportions to draw attention to itself, stand out and be distinct from its rivals. Through these optimal proportions we were able to meet PEUGEOT’s demand for elegance with simplicity and subtlety.”
What part of the car was most difficult to design? Why?
“The rear turned out to be the most complex part to design, as the sloping roof was pivotal to the car’s identity. Yet we had to preserve the vehicle’s liveability and ensure accessibility that was in line with the segment’s norms. We needed to review our way of designing the car’s structure. This led us to achieve a feat in stamping, for example, that can be observed especially in the rear wings. We had never done this before. It is generally used only for sports cars. We had to revise all our frames of reference in stamping to get this type of result.”
What is special about the design of the new PEUGEOT 508?
“We actually rewrote the rules of D-segment saloon shapes. To get such proportions when the length had been reduced by eight centimetres compared to the previous generation, we moved the glazing support back to give the car a larger bonnet. Then there’s the frameless-door technology, which meant we could reduce the vehicle’s height in relation to the car’s rivals in the segment. The car’s height is 6 cm lower than in the previous model! That also makes the vehicle appear especially wide even though it actually has a rather average width. As the car had to be particularly aerodynamic, we designed it to be narrower at the front than at the rear, contrary to the impression it might give! We achieved this charismatic stance on the road through the extreme tightening of the cabin, which also made it possible for us to produce the rear wings on a scale rarely reached before. It’s one of the secrets behind the pose of the new PEUGEOT 508.”
The sharp, robust exterior styling of the new PEUGEOT 508 makes a strong impression. And whilst the new PEUGEOT 508 has a lot to boast about in its exterior design, its interior is just as stunning.
A cabin enhanced by the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®
Stepping into the new PEUGEOT 508 is like entering another world, one focused on quality and originality. The eye is immediately drawn to a spectacular, resolutely premium instrument panel and the latest version of the exemplary PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®.
Since it first appeared in 2012 on the PEUGEOT 208, the i-Cockpit® has evolved as new models have been introduced to the range. From the PEUGEOT 2008 SUV to the PEUGEOT 308 and the latest SUV models, the PEUGEOT 3008 and 5008, three generations of the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® have already made their mark as major benefits in the lion brand’s offerings.
The essential components of the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® include:
- A compact steering wheel
- A large, 10-inch wide HD capacitive touch-screen in 8:3 format
- A head-up display unit with a high-resolution 12.3-inch digital screen
Entirely configurable and customisable (six different display modes), the head up display unit is positioned above the steering wheel and presents all the necessary driving information within the eye line of the driver, reducing the need to take their eyes off the road (its features include new night vision, see page 7).
The central touch-screen is perfectly incorporated into the instrument panel, at approximately the same height as the head-up display unit. The capacitive touch-screen comes in an eight-inch version on the introductory trim level, Active, and a ten-inch HD version on the Allure trim level and above. It is accompanied by seven toggle switches resembling piano keys that are remarkably well integrated into the panel’s body and give direct, permanent access to the main comfort features: radio, air conditioning, navigation, vehicle settings, telephone, mobile applications and i-Cockpit® Amplify (see below).
Clearly visible on the centre console, the eight-speed automatic gearbox lever is electrically powered with one-touch control. Its design further underlines the driving position’s modernity and, with the steering-wheel paddles, helps to enhance driving pleasure.
The new PEUGEOT 508 also offers i-Cockpit® Amplify. With the choice of two completely customisable ambiences (“BOOST” and “RELAX”), which awaken the senses:
- Sight, by adjusting ambient-lighting intensity and screen colour
- Hearing, through musical-ambience settings
- Touch, via multi-point seat-massage programmes
The i-Cockpit® Amplify feature also controls the car’s driving performance, with the driving-mode selector (ECO/Sport/Comfort/Normal), as well as damping in the vehicles equipped with electronic suspension.
This driving position is unique, providing stimulating, intuitive driving pleasure every time you enter the vehicle.
An intense driving experience
“At PEUGEOT, driving pleasure is imperative in the specification of each new vehicle. With the new PEUGEOT 508, our aim is not just to guarantee dynamic handling that is exemplary, but to make the car’s driving pleasure the benchmark in the segment! To achieve this, we’ve made the most of the EMP2 platform and the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit®.”
Laurent BLANCHET, PEUGEOT Product Director
In terms of driving pleasure, the new PEUGEOT 508 is faithful to its DNA. It benefits from technology and expertise developed within the PSA Group, for example:
- Use of the EMP2 platform, which is undoubtedly one of the best platforms today, providing great dynamic qualities and weight-reduction (on average, 70 kg less compared to the previous generation), improving fuel efficiency, safety and performance.
- Introduction of a new body-welding technique strengthened with 24 m of structural adhesive, providing greater rigidity and a guarantee of better durability.
- Installation of a damper front cradle for optimal suspension damping
- Adaptation of a multi-link rear axle linked to variable-damping controlled suspension– Active Suspension Control (as standard on GT version and on all petrol engines; as an option on 2.0 L diesel engines).
- Settings for road-contact style, adapted for each engine to guarantee the best level of ride comfort and damping over uneven surfaces.
- Calibration of the electric power-steering to ensure a compromise between smooth and firm handling for all driving situations and to provide outstanding manoeuvrability.
- Widespread introduction of reliable, modern automatic transmission through use of the new eight-speed EAT8 automatic gearbox which has an electric gear-lever with one-touch control.
All features of the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® and its compact steering-wheel, ensure a sensational driving experience and breath-taking performance!
“The new PEUGEOT 508 has a suspension system that allows an exceptional balance between dynamism, comfort and security. This balance is aimed to maintain a high-level of performance, whatever the setting. Moreover, the driver can adapt the car’s dynamic character thanks to the variable damping controlled suspension and the driving mode dial.”
Yann BONNY – Vehicle’s Dynamic Director
Three questions for ... Pascal Delabarre, Project Director for the new PEUGEOT 508
Could you tell us some of the technical challenges you faced in designing this car?
“There were a lot! In terms of metal fitting, for example, we introduced a technique for welding body parts that was strengthened with structural adhesive. Certain premium carmakers use this. The method reinforced the body’s rigidity and ensured better acoustic insulation. We also had to systematically shed needless weight. By taking this approach, we got rid of 70 kilos from the car. This was especially challenging due to the heaviness of certain equipment, such as the tailgate motor and the frameless doors! This required radical solutions, for example hot metal stamping and producing the boot and front wings in aluminium and the tailgate in thermoplastic. Lastly, installation of the new-generation PEUGEOT i-Cockpit® to maximise its ergonomics dictated how we built the front unit.”
How did you ensure good acoustic insulation with frameless doors?
“From the outset of the project, we chose to work with the best suppliers who truly master their technology. For example, SaarGummi for the seals and Inteva for the window control. These suppliers offer real expertise, recognised by German premium automakers. Next, through the strengthened body structure, we ensured greater rigidity and therefore fewer restrictions on the doors and glazing. Lastly, we thickened the glazing by 1 mm in relation to standard thickness. Absolutely all these features can be found, for example, on an Audi A5 Sportback.”
What will you remember about this project?
“All the teams’ daily determination to ensure the best level of quality in all fields. Whether for operational quality, perceived quality or working quality, we were very keen to involve everyone, including suppliers, in fulfilling our aims. With this approach, we were able to reach our objectives very quickly and we can today present an impeccable vehicle which will remain so for years to come.”
High-end comfort and first-class quality
This new PEUGEOT 508 is an invitation to high-end travel. The choice and quality of materials in the trim and upholstery, and the attention paid to the finish, envelop the passengers in a soft, modern, refined environment.
For this reason, the driver's seat (and passenger seat from Allure Business trim and above) achieved the AGR (Aktion für Gesunder Rücken) label, rewarding both its ergonomics and range of settings with lengthwise adjustment and seat tilting, as well as lumbar support (four-way electric pneumatic system). This is available as an option from Active trim. They are also available with eight-way electric settings, with two possible memorised configurations.
The wraparound front seats are also both available, as an option, with an eight-pocket pneumatic massage system, with five different massage programmes.
Furthermore, there is plenty of storage space – up to 32 litres! – spread out around the passenger cabin, as well as many sockets (four USB sockets to charge portable devices are available from Allure trim and above, one jack plug in the armrest and two 12V sockets, including one in the boot). The wide-opening panoramic sunroof is in a spoiler style and for the car’s premium audio system the brand has once again chosen FOCAL®, the acclaimed French acoustics firm.
This on-board experience is also enhanced by interior detail that heightens perceived quality and the modern feel of the passenger cabin. The choice and rendering of materials, and the careful assembly of all components, are hallmarks of luxury saloons: such as full-grain or Nappa leather, satin chrome, black lacquer, Alcantara®, authentic wood (Grey Oak on the GT Line or GT, or Zebrano available on the GT only).
This standard of excellence is also evident in the car’s many comfort and safety features.
An impressive array of equipment and driving aids
The new PEUGEOT 508 offers a wide range of latest-generation driving aids that notably meet EuroNCAP criteria, which are ever more demanding. As such, the vehicle is equipped with the following:
- Night Vision system, a first for the segment
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go function (with automatic EAT8 gearbox)
- Lane Positioning Assist (related to Stop & Go adaptive cruise control), first application on the PEUGEOT range
- Latest-generation Active Safety Brake (that detects pedestrians and cyclists both day and night at up to 140 km/h) and Distance Alert
- Lane Keeping Assist (including roadsides)
- Driver Attention Alert
- High Beam Assist
- Speed Limit recognition and recommendation
- Extended Traffic Sign recognition (Stop, prohibited direction etc.)
- Active Blind Spot Monitoring system
The original Night Vision system uses an infra-red camera and detects living beings in front of the vehicle at night time or in low-visibility conditions. The system ensures detection within a 200-250 m range, beyond the headlights’ scope, with central display of the infra-red vision in the digital head-up display unit, in the driver's field of vision.
When driving in towns and cities, the driver also enjoys aids for certain manoeuvres, like Visiopark 2 (360° vision) and the latest-generation Full Park Assist, with the Flankguard perimeter feature (only available with the EAT8 automatic gearbox). The system automatically controls steering, acceleration and braking to enter a parking space.
The connected equipment is just as impressive, with the new PEUGEOT 508 offering:
- Mirror Screen feature compatible with the Android Auto, Apple CarplayTM and MirrorLink®, with off-board voice-recognition via smartphone.
- Induction-based smartphone recharging ( for devices compatible with the Qi standard)
The PEUGEOT Connect pack includes 3D connected navigation with TomTom® Traffic and extends the possibilities offered by new technology into three fields: navigation, safety (PEUGEOT Connect SOS & Assistance) and maintenance (PEUGEOT Connect pack remote services).
Efficiency and high-level performance
Whether in the car’s architecture, the NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), the optimisation of dimensions, weight reduction, aerodynamics or the drive train, everything has been done to reduce CO2 emission levels to the lowest they’ve ever been.
The new PEUGEOT 508 enjoys the new-generation Euro 6.c PureTech and Blue HDi engines (with extended SCR technology) for best-in-class CO2 emission levels. These levels of performance are all the more remarkable as they take into account new technical provisions and the WLTP procedure, which seeks to harmonise test approved consumption levels and customer-usage consumption levels.
As such, there are two new petrol options (depending on destination), developed based on the 1.6L PureTech engine:
- PureTech 180 S&S EAT8
- PureTech 225 S&S EAT8 (GT version only) Related to the sport mode of electronic suspension, this solution provides zest and responsiveness worthy of the GT label.
Four diesel options are available in the range (depending on destination), built based on the 1.5L and 2.0L BlueHDi engines:
- BlueHDi 130 S&S 6-speed manual, which is the entry-level engine and the only one offering a six-speed manual gearbox
- BlueHDi 130 S&S EAT8
- BlueHDi 160 S&S EAT8
- BlueHDi 180 S&S EAT8
Three questions for ... Bernard Hesse, Brand Project Manager for the new PEUGEOT 508
What clientele are you targeting with the new PEUGEOT 508?
“In the very distinct niche of D-segment saloons, the major distribution channel in Europe remains B-to-B: a clientele that is highly demanding in terms of maintenance costs and trade-in value. For the latter, PEUGEOT’s move upmarket means the brand can compete using these criteria with the best generalist rivals and even with premium players. In regards to individual customers, who should make up around 35% of our sales, our research has revealed that our five-door fastback saloon has a huge potential to attract people between 40 and 45 years old!”
Is your engine offering really satisfactory and efficient?
Yes! The power of the six petrol and diesel engines we offer range from 130 to 225 hp. To be in line with the segment’s mix meeting B-to-B requirements, we now only offer our automatic eight-speed gearbox alongside the latest driving aids, except in the entry-level version. With regards to emissions and consumption, and considering NEDC 2018 standards, our PureTech petrol range and Diesel 1.5L BlueHDi are among the best on the market. We can offer, for example, the BlueHDi 130hp EAT8 with CO2 emissions at 98g/km, or the PureTech 180hp EAT8 at 123g/km!
When can we expect to see a hybrid version?
Our Plug-In Hybrid petrol drivetrain will be adapted to the new PEUGEOT 508 and sold on the new model from autumn 2019.
Made in France
The new PEUGEOT 508 is produced in the Mulhouse plant in France, while the French sites of Trémery and Douvrin provide the powertrain. As such, the model shall bear the “Origine France Garantie” accreditation for its launch, certifying that it is made in France.
Unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the new PEUGEOT 508 will go on sale worldwide from September.
The main dimensions of the new PEUGEOT 508
1 – Carefully controlled dimensions
With an overall length of 4.75 m, the new PEUGEOT 508 is one of the most compact saloons on the mainstream market and is closer to premium offerings. Markedly similar to the Audi A5 Sportback, it is 11 cm shorter in length than the Volkswagen Arteon (4.86 cm). Although the car’s length has been reduced by 8 cm compared to the previous generation, the wheelbase – at 2.79 m – has been shortened by 2.4 cm to maintain a level of liveability suited to customer use within the sector. The new PEUGEOT 508 therefore offers one of the most optimised wheelbase-to-dimensions ratios in this segment.
The front and rear overhangs have been reduced in size to dynamise the silhouette and improve agility, both on the road and when manoeuvring. The turning-circle radius has been improved and reduced by 1.5m when compared to the previous generation! With 10,80 m kerb-to-kerb, the new PEUGEOT 508 ranks as the best in its segment, propulsion systems included!
The new PEUGEOT 508 sports an especially robust profile. Yet its length of 1.84 m – 2 cm more than the previous generation – remains within the segment’s average. The car also benefits from an exceptionally low height of 1.40 m, which is 6 cm less than the previous generation! – making it slender, with perfectly balanced proportions. This low-built structure, made possible by frameless doors, does not however sacrifice headroom (see below) and makes the car one of the market’s most dynamic saloons, with its closest rival being the Audi A5 Sportback. It also ensures outstanding aerodynamics with a Cx of 0.26 and a SCx of 0.57 m2.
Lastly, the wheel size goes hand in hand with upscaling, adapting to each version and finish. From 16 to 19 inches, eight alloy wheel options are available in the range to support the vehicle’s build.
2 – Optimised liveability
With its optimised architecture, the new PEUGEOT 508 offers both compact dimensions and a passenger cabin suited to customer use in this segment. As such, although the front and rear headroom is comparable to that offered in the Audi A5 Sportback, the front elbow room reaches 1.455 m, which is 5 cm more than in the Audi. Similarly, the rear legroom is 3 cm more generous. Yet both models are exactly the same in length!
The boot offers a volume of 487 litres and also provides a clever solution in its Hands-free tailgate. Once opened the entire boot volume is more easily accessible thanks to a Full Access load cover, with a wider and lower aperture than the outdoing car.
The modularity is equally impressive, with a 2/3-1/3 fold-down rear bench-seat and a central bench-seat armrest with a ski hatch. With the bench-seat folded down, the boot capacity reaches 1,537 litres, making the most of the entire volume available up to the roof.