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New PEUGEOT 508 PSE Hybrid SW – Peugeot Sport Engineered, with low emissions as standard.

New PEUGEOT 508 PSE High Performance Hybrid.

Up to now, the sports saloon and estate classes have traditionally been dominated by the German brands, but Peugeot has them in its sights with the mighty 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered (PSE), bringing with it plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology and a choice of ‘Fastback’ (hatchback) or ‘SW’ (estate) body styles. The 508 PSE sits on a new EMP2 platform which has been developed to incorporate an ICE engine along with two electric motors, whilst preserving space on board and boot volume. Particular attention was given to weight reduction and balance to make sure the driving experience is as rewarding as possible. Benchmarked against Audi’s mild-hybrid diesel S4, Volvo’s V60 Polestar, Mercedes’ latest C-Class and the BMW M340i XDrive, the 508 PSE has the necessary ingredients required to face up to its talented rivals with its head held high.

PureTech Petrol & Electric Power.

Instead of using a turbocharged straight-six engine like its German rivals, the 508 PSE uses a 1.6-litre PureTech four-cylinder petrol engine in conjunction with a pair of electric motors. One electric motor is positioned on the front axle and the other on the rear axle, enabling the 508 PSE to benefit from the merits of all-wheel-drive for times when the going gets tough. Powering the electric motors is a 11.5kWh battery, which provides the car with an electric driving range of 41kms, but with 360bhp, this is the most powerful Peugeot production car ever. Adjustable suspension is standard, the front and rear track has been widened and the springs are now 50% stiffer for a pure sports car feel.

Sporty Elegance.

While the standard Peugeot 508 Fastback and SW possess striking good looks, the PSE versions are further enhanced by Nera Black door mirror casings, gloss black B and C pillars and aerodynamic deflector trim, gloss black rear cluster connecting strip, rear lower bumper in gloss black, model designation badges front and rear, body-colour exterior door handles, dark tinted rear privacy glass, and sporty 20” EXXAR two-tone diamond-cut alloy wheels. In the 508 PSE drivers can choose between 5 driving modes – Electric Mode, 4WD Mode, Sport Mode, Hybrid Mode and Comfort Mode, with the latter providing flexibility on damping for greater versatility on the move. Flexible charging options enable the Lithium-ion battery to be fully charged from a regular domestic socket in 7 hours, or from a standard 7.4kWh wall box charger in just 105 minutes, while a public charge point can also be used to charge the battery.

Masses of Space and Technology.

The Peugeot 508 PSE features specific technological animations and menus on the touchscreen so that you can easily access all the information needed. Exclusive upholstery in Mistral Nappa leather with Alcantara and Kryptonite stitching provides terrific visual appeal to the 508’s ultra-stylish cabin, while specific HYBRID graphics are available through the New i-Cockpit™ and touchscreen. Additionally, an e-SAVE function allows drivers to save or regenerate all or part of the battery for later use during their journey. Thanks to a 2800mm wheelbase, passenger space within the 508 is impressive, while the SW’s standard boot capacity of 530-litres can be expanded to an enormous 1780-litres when the split-folding rear seat backs are dropped. A huge array of comfort, convenience, safety and infotainment features come as standard, with key features consisting of full LED headlights with static cornering light functionality, LED front indicators, full LED 3D rear Peugeot signature ‘Claw Effect’ lights with a sequential ‘welcome sequence’ upon unlocking the vehicle, heated seats with a massage function, connected 3D Navigation, wireless smartphone charging plate, electric tailgate, 360-degree HD colour camera system, fully automated parking assistance, Night Vision, active suspension, and a central front armrest with butterfly-wing opening.

Test Car.

My test car was a Peugeot 508SW PSE HYBRID 4, which was finished in Selenium Grey (a no-cost option) for maximum visual drama. Fitted with Peugeot’s brilliant 8-speed (e-EAT8) automatic transmission as standard, and producing a thumping 520Nm of torque between 500 and 4760rpm, it is fair to say that the car’s performance is nothing short of spectacular. Throttle response is instantaneous, and the power is delivered in an incredibly smooth and fuss-free manner. There is none of the jerkiness to the power delivery than can afflict some hybrids and this demonstrates where Peugeot’s time and engineering has been focused. Uneven and rutted road surfaces pose no problem to the 508 PSE (even with the car’s standard 20” wheels), while dips and crests in the road are dealt with in a composed and well controlled manner. The cars beefy tyres offer up plenty of grip and are accompanied by an unexpected level of finesse from the chassis when you start to take advantage of the cars terrific driving dynamics. Capable of reaching a top speed of 250km/h when in Sport mode, the 508PSE can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 5.2-seconds, and can consume as little as 2.0-litres of petrol for every 100km driven on a combined driving cycle. The beautifully crafted cabin in the 508 PSE is (as in all modern Peugeot’s) a feast for the eyes and the senses, with all controls feeling great to the touch and easy to use. The car features a configurable 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel and a 10-inch central touchscreen with bespoke graphics, while an 8-speaker MP3 compatible radio, Bluetooth™ telephone facility and 2 USB sockets also feature.

Verdict & Pricing.

Overall, the exclusive, distinctive and beautifully crafted high-performance Peugeot 508 PSE is a hugely compelling package in both Fastback and SW guises. Pricing starts at €68,925 (ex-works) with annual road tax costing just €140.

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