1 Jul 2011
PEUGEOT’S first ‘5’ series model since the demise of the rear-drive 505 range in 1993 marked a return to elegant design after the lacklustre 407.
The 508 introduced better quality, more space, improved safety and significantly more efficient drivetrains, along with fixed-cost servicing, fresh variant designations and a plethora of low-carbon eco options.
The largest Peugeot ever sold in Australia, it serves as a replacement for the unloved 607 flagship as well as the medium-sized 407, and shares the PSA Platform-3 architecture with the current Citroen C5. Nevertheless the 508 is lighter and more aerodynamic than all of these, yet achieves a five-star ENCAP safety rating.
Initially only the up-spec Allure sedan and Touring wagon, as well as high-performance GT sedan, lobbed in, powered by 120kW/340Nm 2.0L HDi and 150kW/450Nm 2.2L HDi turbo-diesel units respectively. Standard transmission was a six-speed auto – with paddle-shifts on the GT.
Interestingly, the 508 GT adopts a variation of the 407’s aluminium drop-link double-wishbone front suspension in lieu of a more conventional MacPherson strut front end found on the rest of the range.
All models employ an independent multi-link rear end, four-wheel disc brakes and an electro-hydraulic powered rack-and-pinion steering system that continually alters its assistance according to road conditions.
In the last quarter of 2011 the 115kW/240Nm 1.6L four-cylinder petrol turbo versions arrived in base Active and Allure also joining it was the 82kW/285Nm 1.6L e-HDi EGC Active outfit – making it one of the most economical large cars on the Australian market.
Driving the front wheels via a six-speed clutchless automated manual gearbox, it also brandishes ‘micro hybrid technology’ stop/start titled STOP-and-START.
A further planet-friendly 508 follows in 2013 in the form of a diesel-electric, all-wheel drive 508 RXH Touring HYbrid4.
Using a raised wagon body in the Subaru Outback tradition, boasting electric drive in each rear wheel, and combining a 120kW 2.0L HDi FAP diesel up front and a 28kW electric motor, the 450Nm combined performance is comparable to the GT but CO2 emissions fall below 100g/km while fuel consumption averages out at 4.2L/100km.