Upcoming Peugeot  508

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201426 Feb

peugeot 508 coming to india

 

WHEN: First quarter, 2013

HOW MUCH: Rs 20 – 26 lakh

ENGINES: 1.6-litre petrol (165 PS / 240Nm / 6-sp automatic and manual), 2.0-litre diesel (140 PS / 320 Nm / 6-sp manual), 2.0-litre diesel (165 PS / 340 Nm / 6-sp automatic), 2.2-litre diesel (210 PS / 450 Nm / 6-sp automatic)

COMPETITION: Skoda Superb, Volkswagen Passat, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana

 

Peugeot is set to begin its Indian innings with this – the Peugeot 508. It’s a big premium sedan, intended to take the fight to more established cars in this class, which in India include the Honda Accord, Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Passat among others.

 

Peugeot wants to take a top-down approach to the Indian market. Its numerical model nomenclature is easy to understand; following the premium-class 508 sedan, India will get the 408 sedan, the 308 sedan and the 208 hatchback, not necessarily in that order. There’s also talk of the 3008 MPV and perhaps the 4008 SUV, but more on that later.

 

peugeot 508 rear seat

 

The Peugeot 508 is a new car, launched just about a year ago in Europe, where it has received widespread acclaim, especially when compared against more established rivals like the Superb and Passat, mentioned earlier. It scores not only on the looks and styling front, but if reports are to be believed, the 508 boasts a high degree of refinement and excellent ride quality. French cars have traditionally been acknowledged as cosseting and comfortable, and for the back-seat fat cats, this is sure to win Peugeot brownie points.

 

peugeot 508 side view

 

The large ‘floating’ grille is the focal point of the 508’s design. In fact, this ‘face’ is the new identity of the brand, resplendent on the new 208 hatchback and the 4008 SUV as well. The re-shaped lion emblem sits on the lip of the bonnet, in a slight indentation, which is also seen in other latest Peugeots. Slim headlamps and fuss-free sides flow along the length of the car, meeting with the slim, wrap-around tail-lights. Peugeot has given the 508 two interesting character lines; one, which is perfectly horizontal and defines the door, and another, from the corner of the tail-lamp, which meets the rear wheel arch. It’s simple, unique and stylish.

 

peugeot 508 interiors

 

The interiors have been crafted with care, with soft-touch materials and under-stated componentry. It doesn’t appear ‘techy’ like the Accord’s interior for example, and isn’t as bland as the Passat or the Superb on the other hand. Iteriors are important, because that’s where you spend most of your time with your car, and Peugeot seems to have got it spot-on with the 508.

 

This car is sold in Europe with a number of engine options, but what’s particularly interesting in the Indian context is Peugeot’s range of diesel engines. Peugeot makes some of world’s best diesels, and don’t just take our word for it. Peugeot won the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009 with its 908 HDi FAP. (note: HDi FAP means high-pressure direct-injection with particulate filter, in French). Of course, the engines in the 508 are only distantly related to that in the 908, but the marque’s engineering abilities are clearly evident.

 

The Peugeot 508, as sold in Europe, has three diesel powertrain options: there’s the 2.0-litre HDi FAP in two states of tune (140 Ps with 6-speed manual and 165 PS with 6-sp automatic transmission) and a 2.2-litre 210 PS unit, mated to a 6-speed automatic. There’s also the option of 1.6-litre petrol engines, which, in turbocharged form puts out an adequate 165 PS, and comes with the option of automatic and manual transmissions, all with 6 ratios. We know for certain that the Peugeot 508 as sold in India will get the diesel option, but Peugeot will neither confirm nor deny whether the petrol powerplant will be under consideration for our market. The 2.0 HDi FAP in the two states of tune, with the two transmission options seem to be a certainty, but whether we’ll get the 2.2-litre mil is unclear for now.

 

For Peugeot, its re-entry to the Indian market is seen to be a little late in the day, but then the Europeans have been late to the Indian party. French compatriot Renault is also in the nascent stages of its Indian operations. For Peugeot, gearing up in Gujarat will take some time, but the approach of hitting the premium segment appears to be the right one. The small car market appears saturated, and the luxury end of the spectrum will never add justifiable volumes. Premium is where it’s at in the Indian car-market right now, and with the 508, Peugeot is giving itself the best possible chance of establishing its brand in the Indian mindspace.

 

peugeot 508 rear view

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