Peugeot has unveiled its new 508 which previews its new design language and is expected to mark a big push into the Chinese market.
The French manufacturer’s latest saloon is designed to replace both the Mondeo-rivalling 407 and the larger 607.
Its front end is dominated by headlights that run deep into the wings, a large, wide grille, a Peugeot badge integrated into the bonnet creases, and a name badge that sits just beneath the bonnet shutline. There’s also a pronounced shoulder line that runs the length of the flanks.
The 508 is 4.7m long, around 10mm longer than the 407 but 20mm shorter than the 607, production of which ended last month.
The estate version is 4.81m long. The car sits on a platform that also underpins the Citroën C5 and outgoing 407.
The increase in size is likely to signify that the 607’s sales did not merit an entirely new generation and reflect the key role large saloons are playing in the emerging Chinese market.
Few technical details have been released, although Peugeot has revealed that all of the car’s diesel engines will offer stop-start using Peugeot-Citroën’s e-HDi system.
A 508 with Hybrid4 tech will also be launched shortly after sales start. It combines a combustion engine driving the front wheels with an electric motor integrated into the rear axle.
Peugeot says the Hybrid4 508 will offer four-wheel drive, a combined 200bhp and CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
The 508 will make its public debut at the Paris motor show on 30 September, and sales will begin at the start of 2011.
The Chinese-spec models will be built at Peugeot’s own facility there, but European-spec models will be produced in Rennes, France.
Meanwhile, the 407 Coupé is unlikely to be replaced. But a folding hard-top, four-seat convertible 508 — a potential rival for the Volvo C70 — may make production.