These are the first spy shots of the new generation Peugeot 308. The car will retain its “308” moniker as the French automaker has decided to change its three-digit naming policy that they had since 1929 when they introduced the Peugeot 201. The company stated that the models to come will stick to their initial names for the entire lifespan of the car, while the zero digit is going to remain as the central digit.
The first digit represents the relative size and segment while the last digit will be 1 for the high volume potential models, such as the upcoming 301. In a previous statement, Peugeot officials have mentioned that "designed specifically to fulfill new customer expectations, these new models will offer value for money and status and will supplement the range of models that from now on will remain with the end digit 8."
Getting back to the new 308, the prototype was spied while undergoing some hot weather testing in southern Europe and it will probably be unveiled either in September next year at the Frankfurt Motor Show or in March 2013 at the Geneva show. It will remain a compact hatchback but these spy shots are showing that the upcoming 308 will be longer and wider than the current model. Design-wise, it will borrow some of the styling cues first seen on the 208.
No word right now about the engine lineup, but it’s safe to assume that it will get a bunch of 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel units producing between 90 (66 kW) and 160 HP (118 kW), along with the hotter 308 GTI which is expected to have a 200 HP (147 kW) engine.
Even though the car seen in these spy shots is the five-door hatchback model, the French automaker will also launch later on the three-door, estate and convertible versions of the new 308.