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Later this year, Peugeot will launch a new 308. In one form or another, the 308 ,a former European Car of the Year, has been around for some 14 years. Now Peugeot launches the next generation which is very much in the style of their successful SUV range.

The fresh new design and a premium interior with class-leading technology and safety will be welcomed in the compact family car segment. Powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid engines are available for the first time on the 308 and are complemented by advanced petrol and diesel powertrains. Peugeot will offer an electrified variant across its entire model line-up, of course including the 308 and depending on the market there may be variations in powertrain options. Peugeot speak of the Power of Choice and in the line-up are  two plug-in hybrids, the HYBRID 225 e-EAT8 which is a combination of an 180bhp 132kW PureTech engine and an 81kW electric motor mated to the e-EAT8 automatic transmission; this combination emits as little as 28g/km of CO2 and up to 58 kilometres (36 miles) of 100 percent electric charge. The HYBRID 180 e-EAT8 is a combination of a 150bhp 110kW PureTech engine and an 81kW electric engine mated to the e-EAT8 transmission with emissions from as low as 25 g/km of CO2 and up to 59 kilometres (37 miles) of 100 percent electric range.

When I first received the early press pictures it immediately reminded me of the 208. and we can expect to see a range of trim levels, very much in keeping with Peugeot. The new model sets new standards in its class and comes complete with the latest generation driving aids and the Peugeot i-Cockpit with 3D technology. The advanced infotainment system is intuitive to use and, of course, keeps you connected, something which we have now come to expect in the modern car. Much attention has been given to the interior of the newcomer, there is more space and comfort levels have been raised with a choice of carefully chosen materials delivering a quality finish. With a 55mm longer wheelbase, there is more room for passengers in the rear while the extra length combines with a 20mm height reduction to create an even sleeker silhouette, which  also gives the new 308 an enhanced stance. It is no wider than the outgoing model and simple and smooth flanks further showcase the character of the new model.

All variants feature LED headlights, chiselled and slim, they are enhanced by the brand’s trademark vertical LED daytime running lights. This makes the new model instantly recognisable. On GT and GT Premium models the full LED headlights feature Matrix light technology for even greater safety. At the rear the taillights feature full LED technology with the company’s iconic three claw rear light signature. Aerodynamic efficiency plays a large part in the design of the new model. All exterior bodywork has been specifically designed for improved airflow, with the most obvious addition being the elongated roof spoiler and even the wheel design plays a part in reducing the drag coefficient figure down to Cd 0.28.

The new model is built on the company’s innovative and adaptable EMP2 platform which adds to safety and space and this permits the option of electrified powertrains for the first time, while the new structural elements help to deliver even greater efficiency, mush appreciated driving pleasure and comfort levels. We do demand a lot of the modern car, it has to fulfil a number of roles for most, so the practical side is very important and with the new 308 comes a generous 412 litres of luggage capacity with a further 28 litres of storage in a hidden compartment beneath the floor and with the rear seats folded flat the maximum capacity increases to a welcome 1,323 litres. The arrival of the new 308 is certainly a welcome addition to a range of cars which offer the best in modern day motoring.

Ian Lynas



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