The Peugeot 408, the company’s replacement for the 407, will be more conservatively styled and less of a visual leap forward than its predecessor, Autocar can reveal.

The car will be more evolutionary in its looks than the step from 406 to 407, said a company insider.

However, it is understood that the design will have eye-catching detailing and “hard-edged” looks that will help it stand out from other mid-sized saloons.

“The car will be an evolution, not revolution,” said the source. “For the overall effect, think Insignia.”

The new 408 will feature a hybrid powertrain in the line-up, most likely with a diesel engine rather than petrol.

Peugeot is pioneering the diesel hybrid in cars like the 3008 and will extend the technology to its next generation of saloons.

A hybrid 408 should be capable of class-leading economy and CO2 of less than 100g/km. It is expected to be officially revealed later this year and will go on sale in the UK in 2010.

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