Peugeot has taken the wraps off their all-new 408 and in a surprising turn, isn't at all like its predecessors, adopting high-riding ‘fastback crossover’ format instead of being a 4-door sedan version of the 308 hatchback.
Still, it’s worth noting that a China-specific Peugeot 408 (sedan) exists for that one market, meaning the this ‘global’ 408 will be sold as the 408X when it makes its eventual debut there. Not that we, in other countries, need to worry about that.
With its radically angular bodywork, the car looks more like it rolled onto a motor show booth as a concept car instead of being a production-ready product (I mean just look at those wheels!), but Peugeot says this 3rd-generation 408 will be ready for customer hands some time in 2023, presumably unchanged from what is shown here.
Like the newest 308 and 508, PSA’s (now Stellantis) EMP2 platform forms the 408’s structural basis. And in terms of silhouette and physical dimensions, there’s plenty of parallels to draw from the Citroen C5 X which was unveiled back in mid-April.
Starting at the nose we find that characteristic front end treatment shared with other current-generation Peugeots with its geometric pattern grille matching its body colour, slim headlights with matrix LED illuminators and an almost vertical pair of LED daytime running lights at the far corners that almost resemble the fangs of a Sabre-Toothed Tiger - fitting given Peugeot’s chosen….mascot.
Along the sides there’s some interesting metal surfacing at play to catch the light and here we also see the typical dark grey/black cladding that automakers seem compelled to slap onto their crossovers and SUVs for no real reason.
As the format dictates, the 408 is also now higher off the ground than the 308 on which it’s based but measures 4,687mm from nose to tail, 1,478mm at its highest point, and sporting a generous wheelbase of 2,787mm which should make for a more spacious cabin to compensate for that more sweeping roofline.
Speaking of that interior, this is where the DNA transfer from the 308 is most evident. At first glance, there’s nothing really different, offering the same ergonomic layout and material spread of other present-day Peugeots. There’s the i-Cockpit dashboard treatment as well with its novel undersized steering wheel and perched digital displays/controls (an LCD gauge cluster and central touchscreen infotainment panel), leaving just a handful of physical buttons to toggle.
Not much has been detailed as yet of the 308’s selection of powertrains but we can expect carry overs from existing models. So far, Peugeot has confirmed the use of a turbocharged petrol engines with or without a plug-in hybrid component, kicking off with the same 1.2-litre 3-cylinder Puretech unit from the 2008, producing 130PS and 230Nm.
From what has been revealed so far, the PHEV options will utilise the brand’s larger 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engines with an electric motor powering the rear axle for up to 225PS and 360Nm of combined output from a 12.4kWh lithium-ion battery. All variants should receive an 8-speed automatic transmission sourced from Aisin, dubbed the EAT8.
Like a lot of PHEVs on the road right now, the part-electric Peugeot 408 will be capable of AC charging via a Type 2 connector but at a slower rate of 3.7kW thanks to its less-than-beefy onboard charge converter. A cost-optional 7.4kW unit can be specified which reduces charge time from about nearly 4 hours to about 100 minutes through a 32-amp wallbox.
At some stage, we expect Peugeot to also bring out a fully electric version of the 408 as they have done with the 308, 208, and 2008 (called the e-308, e-208, and e-2008….you get the idea). Can’t wait until our new Peugeot local distributors bring this one in!