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don’t call me SUV coupe, call me crossover saloon

After several advances, the Peugeot 408 has been revealed. At the end of May, Peugeot announced that the name for its new sedan crossover It would be Peugeot 408. A name that logically places it above the 308 and within the range of sedans and not SUVs (otherwise it would be a 4008).

However, this berlina fastback raised has all the attributes to take advantage of the trend of SUV coupés, in the style of the Renault Arkana. And it is that, despite being marketed in Europe in the first half of 2023, the 408 responds to the logic of the Chinese market.

In China, the range of the French manufacturer already has a Peugeot 408, it is a 308 with a three-volume body. The classic sedan silhouette was a must-have in China until recently if it was to have any modicum of success. But there as here, tastes change and they too have become very adept at SUV.

Therefore, to adapt to new expectations, this 408, which will make a career in Europe and China (where it will be baptized as 408X), adopts a new approach: attracting customers to sedans by giving them an SUV look.

Sedan fastback and crossover, but not SUV

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

In its own way, it tries to replicate the success of the Subaru Legacy Outback, Volvo XC70 CrossCountry and Audi A6 and A4 Allroad. It is a somewhat risky proposal, the CrossCountry and Allroad are hardly sold anymore and only the Citroen C5 X has gone down the road of fastback crossover sedans.

The 408 will find its place in the Peugeot range between the compact 308 and the 3008 SUV. This original silhouette, which combines a fastback-type dynamic line with the clearance of an SUV, could reduce sales of the 508 due to its dimensions (4.68 m long) and trunk volume (from 471 to 536 liters), as well as the 308 SW.

Dimensions Peugeot 408

Puretech130

hybrid 180

hybrid 225

dimensions

4.687 x 1.848 x 1.478 mm

4.687 x 1.848 x 1.478 mm

4.687 x 1.848 x 1.478 mm

battle

2.787 mm

2.787 mm

2.787 mm

trunk

536 liters

471 liters

471 liters

weight

1.393 kg

1.706 kg

1.706 kg

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

More imposing than a 308 SW (4.63 m), the 408 is only 6 cm shorter than the 508. From the saloon it has regained its 2.79 m wheelbase and wide tracks. What has resulted in widened wings in front and behind, giving it visual muscle.

On the other hand, the hood, the windshield, the structure of the front door, the headlights and the rear lights are taken from the 308. But beware, it is not an inflated 308, the rest of the exterior elements have nothing in common with the compact.

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

More than a 308 SUV, the 408 has its own personality. In general, the design is very dynamic, but also difficult to visually lighten given the height of both the car and the waistline. For example, in profile, the side skirts are black, thus visually lowering the ride height.

At the rear, the designers managed to visually erase the imposing overhang thanks to an inverted design of the black part of the bumper, as well as the shape of the lower tailgate.

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

In addition, the aerodynamics have been optimized, with a reduced frontal area (SCx of 0.654 m2) and a Cx of 0.28. The two upper spoilers located at the top of the tailgate have a double function.

On the one hand, they hide the trunk hinges, which are retracted as far as possible so as not to invade the interior space, and on the other hand, they channel the air that flows through the roof towards the horizontal spoiler located in the lower part of the rear window. In any case, it will be a car that will not go unnoticed.

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023 interior

On board the 408 there are no surprises, almost everything has been recovered from the Peugeot 308. The dashboard has digital instrumentation on a 10-inch screen that can be 3D in the higher finishes. The center console has a touch screenalso 10 inches, flanked by its aviation-type buttons that Peugeot calls i-Toggle.

Two PHEVs while the electric arrives

On a mechanical level, Peugeot will market the 408 with a range of three engines, one gasoline and two PHEV plug-in hybrids, all coupled exclusively to the EAT8 automatic gearbox.

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

The two PHEV proposals are the already known 180 hp and 225 hp. In both cases, the 1.6 PureTech engine is associated with an 81 kW (110 hp) electric motor and a 12.4 kWh battery. The difference in power between both models is due to the 1.6-litre engine, with 150 hp in the HYBRID 180 and 180 hp in the HYBRID 225.

Peugeot has not yet communicated consumption data or electric autonomy. But it is known that the charger shipped as standard will be 3.7 kW, while as an option it may be 7.4 kW. In the first case, a full charge from 0 to 100% takes three hours and 55 minutes and with the 7.4 kW, the same charge would take one hour and 40 minutes.

As for the only gasoline version, it is equipped with the 130 hp 1.2-liter PureTech and EAT8 automatic gearbox. On the other hand no diesel planned for the 408. The one that was once the world’s leading diesel manufacturer, is progressively abandoning that engine. Even so, the 408 will gain new versions later, such as a 100% electric version.

Peugeot 408 PHEV 2023

The Peugeot 408 will go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2023. And unlike the Citroën C5 X which is made exclusively in China, the cars sold in Europe will come from the Mulhouse factory in Alsace, near Germany. Of course, the Peugeot 408 destined for the Chinese market will be manufactured in China.

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I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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