The count will continue from 2023
The Peugeot quartet is back, as is the 408
Production of the Peugeot 407 ended in 2011, and with it the tradition of the quattro series models started as early as 1934. But now the French are making a comeback – and with force: the Peugeot 408 is a coupe sedan with SUV elements.
Strange TV Inspector Colombo aka Peter Falk went on the hunt for scammers in 1978 in a convertible Peugeot 403. 20 years later, a Peugeot 406 drove through Marseille as a tuned taxi in the action comedy of the same name. Just two examples of how popular and successful Peugeot models were with the four-to-zero.
In December 2011, however, the sudden end came: with the 407, production of the last four was completed. The boom of SUVs, but also design sins have made the sedan and especially the spacious station wagon a slow seller. But from 2023, the count will continue, Peugeot has come to number 408.
But Linda Jackson, head of Peugeot, doesn’t have the previous clientele in mind: “The new 408 was designed for car lovers who want to break away from tradition and seek responsible driving fun.” The reborn 408, still based on the nine-year EMP2 platform, is said to be about controlled efficiency and a top-notch digital experience. Peugeot ranks it in the compact class, even if it is a superior league with its 4.70 meters in length and is destined to attract different customer segments. SUV enthusiasts get their money’s worth thanks to the raised seating position.
If you want to be sportier on the road, you should like the coupe-style sloping roof. And practitioners are spoiled with a cargo space of up to 1611 liters. Such automotive blends are called “crossovers”. The Peugeot 408 is one that doesn’t really define itself as it should be.
The appearance is always self-confident. Like the side skirts, which flatten towards the rear and connect to the edges of the wheel arches. The nearly 2.80 meter long wheelbase reveals how much space is reserved for passengers. At the rear you can see the wild rippling of the diffuser under the bumper, while the roof spoiler above the rear window is rather reserved. The front features two slim twin headlights with Matrix LED technology, the typical saber-toothed tiger-style daytime running lights and a grille whose individual panels painted in the vehicle color simulate a fan-shaped fountain. The center is crowned by the brand new emblem with a lion’s head.
Mixed digital to analog
Modernity continues in the interior, mixing digital with analog. There are the classic buttons and switches on the steering wheel and under the 10-inch monitor for infotainment and navigation. Mobile phone mirroring is also possible. So the screen works like a classic tablet. There is no selector lever for the eight-speed automatic. This is done by a rocker switch on the center console.
With 30 assistance systems, the newcomer offers a variety of electronic helpers who have a digital view of their surroundings thanks to six cameras and nine radar devices. Examples are distance radar with stop-and-go function, automatic emergency braking with collision warning even when reversing, active lane assistant or 180-degree rear view camera. There is also a night vision device that looks up to 250 meters ahead in the dark to move people or animals in the infrared field of view. It is not yet known which of the many systems is only available for a fee.
Diesel has finally had its day
When driving the Peugeot 408, the diesel, once a Peugeot strength, has finally had its day. Upon market launch early next year, prospective buyers have three options, the smallest of which will likely only rarely pop up on the price list. While their performance figures have not yet been revealed, the petrol engine with a 1.2-liter, 130-horsepower three-cylinder engine is unlikely to keep up with its more powerful sibling models. They rely on the help of a 110 HP electric motor. It works in conjunction with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that sends 180hp or 150hp to the front wheels.
The 12.4 kWh battery should guarantee an electric range of at least 60 kilometers. The two plug-in hybrid systems, which are already known from the smaller 308, can be loaded faster on the home wall box with 7.4 kW, which takes almost two hours. The 408 cannot dock with a fast charging station.
Unlike the top crossover model. The fully electric 408 will appear later. It is not yet known whether it will have the same underbody battery as the Leone brand’s previous electric cars, which each use 50 kWh batteries and have a range of around 370 kilometers. Whether it will be enough for the new quartet remains to be seen.