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Peugeot 508 to be a diesel affair

High-flyer: The Peugeot 508 flagship sedan and wagon models will arrive in local showrooms following their local debut at the Melbourne motor show in July.

All-diesel Australian launch line-up for Peugeot’s new 508 sedan and wagon range

27 May 2011

PEUGEOT’S classy-looking 508 sedan and wagon range will be launched in Australia with an all-diesel, all-automatic engine and transmission line-up when it arrives in local showrooms after its local premiere at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne on July 1.

The mid-sized 508 range – which supersedes the 407 that was dropped from local price lists in March – will be launched with 2.0-litre and 2.2-litre HDI powerplants, with respective peak power and torque outputs of 120kW/340Nm and a punchy 150kW/450Nm.

Indicative of improvements in engine technology, Peugeot has extracted 10kW and 10Nm more performance from its 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel than is produced by the older PSA-developed 2.7-litre diesel V6 now available in Ford’s Territory.

As GoAuto has reported, the powerful 2.2-litre engine is exclusive to the GT premium model, which is fitted with unique double-wishbone front suspension to complement the extra performance.

Confirmed for later in the year is a planet-friendly 1.6-litre eHDI sedan that employs fuel-saving idle-stop and electronically-controlled air intakes to return European fuel consumption and emissions figures of 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres and 109 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The eco-508 sends its 82kW and 270Nm (285Nm in overboost mode) to the front wheels via a six-sped robotised manual transmission, while the more powerful variants get a conventional six-speed torque converter automatic.

23 center imageAccording to Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval documents, only the sedan will get all three engines, with the wagon limited to the 2.0-litre unit.

The ADR documents show a variant fitted with the RCZ coupe’s 116kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine to have also been submitted for approval in both sedan and wagon guise, but Peugeot Australia says it has to do more research before introducing that version here.

No information on pricing is yet available for the 508 other than it will be “very competitively priced”. The outgoing 407 was premium-priced above $40,000, the related Citroen C5 even more so, opening at $46,990 drive-away and the cheapest diesel Passat is $43,990.

The 508 has been well received by the European motoring press and was recently awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. In November, last year it picked up the German Auto Trophy award, beating 18 class rivals in a vote by readers of Auto Zeitung magazine.

Much of the praise levelled at the 508 has been for its interior ambience, refinement and driving dynamics. The mid-size Peugeot promises to be spacious, practical and comfortable, with interior dimensions providing more room than afforded by its 407 antecedent.

Peugeot will no doubt highly specify Australian-delivered 508s and plenty of high-tech equipment is already offered in Europe, including a colour head-up display, four-zone automatic climate control, massage seats, sophisticated audio and navigation systems including a premium JBL hi-fi audio setup, parking space size recognition and even an Audi A8-style on-board wireless internet hotspot.

A big 545-litre boot on the sedan grows to 1581 litres with the seats folded flat, while the wagon’s 645 litres can extend to 1865 litres, 48 litres of which are in storage compartments beneath the boot floor, although this space is reduced on the GT version owing to its twin exhausts and removed altogether if the optional spare wheel is present.

Next year Peugeot will introduce a HYbrid4 version of the 508, the front wheels powered by a diesel engine and an electric motor driving the rear, combining to produce peak power of 147kW while returning CO2 emissions of 99g/km, although this model is not confirmed for Australia.

Until the 508 makes its debut on the Peugeot stand at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in July, the French manufacturer is offering drive-away pricing and extra equipment on its entry-level 207 XR hatch as an end-of-financial-year deal.

Driveaway prices of $19,990 for the five-speed manual and $23,490 for the four-speed automatic also include Bluetooth and a GTi-style front-end with sports grille, front fog lights, body-coloured side mouldings with chrome accents, a leather steering wheel and white, chrome-accented instruments.

Sales of cars bearing France’s lion badge have grown slowly in Australia to the end of April, up 0.2 per cent to 1791 units. Its best-selling 308 – which is due to be replaced by a facelifted model that will appear alongside the 508 at the Melbourne show – is down 49.7 per cent to 490 sold.

The numbers have been balanced out by the 207 hatch range, which is going great guns and up 84.3 per cent to 481 sales. Also helping is the popularity of newer models including the 3008 crossover (247), RCZ sports car (117) and the 4007 SUV (198 – up 25.3 per cent).

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