The French bid to make a “proper” performance family car.
French carmaker Peugeot seem to be working on seriously hotted-up, all-wheel drive versions of its sharply-styled and eagerly-anticipated 508 and 508SW family cars, it’s been revealed. With a raft of revisions under the skin and to the powertrain, the 508 & 508SW performance variants aim to get as close as they can to being the very best hot mid-size family cars money can buy.
A “senior insider” confided in our friends at Motoring that Peugeot Sport is fettling the 508 and 508SW, and aim to update the upcoming plug-in hybrid system with a bigger battery and bigger electric motors at the rear. This makes quite a bit of sense to us because the PureTech 1.6-litre engine, which already puts out 147kW, already seems to be tuned to its absolute limits.
It’s also possible that Peugeot may slot in a battery that’s more advanced than the 13.2kWh pack that’ll be employed in the HYBRID and HYBRID4 models.
The hot 508s will not bear ‘GTi’ badges either, despite sharing the EMP2 platform with the 308GTi. Instead, the bigger cars will wear full-fat R badges that, according to the insider, is more fitting of a larger car. This was echoed by Peugeot design boss Gilles Vidal who said:
“You couldn’t name [the hot 508, 508SW] a GTi. GTi relates to small cars like the 208 and 308. It sounds funny to put a badge like that on such a big car.” — Gilles Vidal, Director of Syle, Peugeot
However, the 508 R and 508SW R will be the only derivatives for this model: It’s said that within Peugeot, they’ve ruled out replacing the crossover-like 508RXH that rivalled cars like the Volvo V40 CrossCountry due to slow sales. Better for it we think, as this allows Peugeot’s passenger cars & SUVs to coexist more harmoniously and allow each to develop a more specific look & feel.