PEUGEOT 508 PHEV – Plug-In To The Future.

 With stricter emissions regulations, and our Government’s plan to have one million electric vehicles on Irish roads by 2030, more manufacturers than ever are turning to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV’s) as a way to introduce motorist to the idea of plugging their car in, and is also their way of dramatically lowering their overall carbon footprint. PEUGEOT has made great progress with their rapid electrification roll-out in 2020, and their large family car, the new 508, is now available as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). This new model complements existing petrol and diesel versions of the 508 and fulfils the new PEUGEOT philosophy of offering customers the option to choose the model, then the powertrain, without compromising on space, technology, looks or driving sensations. By 2023, 100% of the PEUGEOT passenger car and light commercial vehicle range will be electrified, thereby providing even greater choice to customers than ever before.

Fastback or SW Bodystyle Options;

As with any other 508, there is a choice of either a ‘Fastback’ (five-door hatch) or a stylish ‘SW’ (estate) bodystyle, with the PHEV coming in a choice of three trim levels – Allure, GT Line and GT. The new PEUGEOT 508 PHEV has passed stringent certification tests under the new WLTP protocol, with impressive results. Under Ireland’s Budget 2020 regulations, plug-in hybrids must now emit less than 50g/km of C02 and travel more than 50km in all-electric mode to qualify for the €5,000 SEAI grant and €2,500 VRT relief schemes. Thankfully, the new 508 PHEV easily qualifies on both counts, with the ‘Fastback’ achieving 29g/km and 54km in 100% electic mode, whilst the ‘SW’ achieves 30g/km and 52km respectively. The 508 PHEV combines a 180bhp (132kW) PureTech 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 110bhp (80kW) electric motor for a maximum combined power output of 225bhp (165kW). The battery offers a capacity of 11.8kWh and recharging takes less than 105-minutes with a Wallbox (optional 6.6kW charger, 32A), or up to seven hours from a domestic electric socket, so the 508 PHEV is a car that can easily be used in electric mode more often than not.

Spacious & Stylish;

Built on PEUGEOT’s advanced EMP2 platform, spaciousness is maintained, and the boot volumes are identical to the combustion engine versions, with between 487 and 1,537-litres of space available in either 5 seat or 2 seat mode respectively. New driving modes are on offer too – a Zero Emission 100% electric mode, an exhillarating Sport mode, a Hybrid mode, and a Comfort mode which combines the Hybrid mode with the comfort of a controlled suspension set up. Minor differences on the 508 PHEV over the standard 508 include an additional ‘filler’ flap on the rear left flank of the car for the electric charging point, some ‘HYbrid’ badges located on the C-pillars, and a cyan-coloured light mounted in its interior mirror, which warns pedestrians it is operating in pure electric mode – a unique feature for any car. There is a little ‘lightning bolt’ piano key button just below the centre-dash infotainment screen which accesses various hybrid-specific functions. These show energy flow and usage, and various hybrid-related information to the driver. The Peugeot 508’s interior looks as good as the exterior, with stylish ‘piano-key’ switches for a truly upmarket feel, while overall cabin build quality is first class.

Test Car;

My test car was a Twilight Blue metallic PEUGEOT 508 PHEV GT Line Fastback, which looked very sleek with its standard 18” ‘Hirone’ diamond-cut two-tone alloy wheels. An impressive array of standard equipment adorns the GT Line model, with key features such as full (self-levelling) LED headlights with static cornering light function, full LED 3D rear lights with PEUGEOT signature ‘claw effect’ (with sequential ‘welcome sequence’ upon unlocking the car), dual-zone automatic climate control, parking sensors front & rear, reversing camera, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, MirrorLink, 3D satellite navigation, and an auto-dimming frameless rear view mirror, along with many more comfort, convenience, infotainment and safety features. With an impressive 360Nm of torque available, the 508 PHEV can sprint from 0-100km/h in as little as 7.9-seconds, and can reach a top speed of 248km/h (where permitted), while it is under short bursts of acceleration at lower speeds that the hybrid set-up is at its best. The electric motor gives instant performance in a smooth manner, filling in for any gaps in the petrol engine’s power, while the automatic transmission lever gains an extra ‘B’ option so that regenerative braking force can be applied upon request. Sharp steering, excellent road-holding ability, and terrific refinement combine to ensure that the new 508 PHEV is a pleasure to drive on a variety of road surfaces, while ergonomically-designed AGR (campaign for better backs) seating provides ultimate comfort for all occupants on every journey. The 508 has the most compelling performance of PEUGEOT’s amazing i-Cockpit set-up, with dash-mounted shortcut buttons purposefully located to help make moving from menu to menu more intuitive.

Safety Rating & Pricing;

The new PEUGEOT 508 is one of the most distinctive large family cars on the market, and offers a terrific fusion of style, practicality, agility, frugality and desirability. It is also one of the safest large family cars on sale, and has a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating for added peace of mind on the road. A worthy winner of the ‘Continental Tyres Irish Large Car of the Year 2020’, the new PEUGEOT 508 range is priced from just €31,570 (ex-works), with the new 508 PHEV starting at €38,895 (ex-works, but inclusive of SEAI grant and VRT rebate). Attracting annual road tax of just €170, and capable of fuel consumption as low as 1.3l/100km (217mpg), the new PEUGEOT 508 PHEV represents terrific value for money motoring.

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