New Peugeot 308 arrives in 2022 with radical design redesignSeptember 4, 2020
The 308 hatchback lineup will be topped by a PSE-branded hot hatch with all-wheel drive and plug-in hybrid technology.
The next generation of Peugeot models will begin with an all-new 308 in 2022 – and an early sign of what to expect will be a disguised prototype of a Vauxhall Astra rival.
As expected, the next generation 308’s design appears to be radically different from the current car’s styling to bring it in line with the new 208, 2008 and 508, as well as the redesigned 3008 and 5008.
The heavy camouflage means it is unclear at this stage exactly how this will be achieved, but it looks like the 308 will swap out its protruding lower bumper for a rounded front end that includes Peugeot’s new frameless grille and narrow headlights, while signature vertical daytime running gears brand lights are likely to be presented in one form or another.
The roofline also appears to curve more sharply towards the rear, making the hatchback longer and lower, and details including new side mirrors, a slim rear spoiler, and a shark fin-style antenna complete the transformation.
Peugeot chief Jean-Philippe Imparato previously hinted that the 308 will build on the bold looks of all other recent Peugeots: “We put design first,” he said, describing why Peugeot’s comeback was so successful. “Apart from all the investment decisions, I defended the design. Then the brand image is restored. “
Debuting in 2014, the current 308 marked the beginning of the transformation of the entire Peugeot lineup with a more confident approach to design. This was followed by the successful 3008 with a bolder style, as well as the 5008, 208 and 2008.
The next 308 will go on sale in 2022, most likely after the official premiere at the end of 2021. It will be built on an updated version of the EMP2 platform that underlies more than a dozen PSA Group models.
PSA’s strategy so far has been to offer the EMP2 models with plug-in hybrid technology and, for the smaller CMP models, with special electric versions that are offered alongside existing gasoline and diesel options.
The 308 will receive a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.6-liter petrol engine with an electric motor. However, this is the proposed second plug-in hybrid model that will keep enthusiasts interested.
Developed by the new PSE Performance Arm brand, this model will get an additional electric motor on the rear axle – a setup already used on the 3008 PHEV – to provide all-wheel drive for the 308 and create a hot new 300 hp engine. A hatchback version that will also receive a host of sports chassis and styling updates to challenge cars like the Volkswagen Golf R.
The PSE badge should appear first on the best performing 508. If the 508 PSE is successful, Imparato said the PSE formula could be applied “on the 3008 and other vehicles.”
Success will also be measured not by sales, but by the reputation and recognition that PSE models receive. To this end, the PSE project is more about “transforming electric vehicles” and their perceptions, because Imparato sees “great opportunities for the sports car lineup” in this form.
The GTi badge will not be used on the 308 or any Peugeot other than the 208. Even so, it could be limited to the UK only and will be based on an all-electric version as part of the company’s plans to switch Peugeot Sport’s involvement in its model only for electrified power units.
The next 308 lineup will again include five-door hatchback and wagon versions. However, the crossover 308 is a big opportunity for Peugeot. Imparato celebrated the success of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, essentially a raised version of the A-Class hatchback. There’s enough space between the 308 SUV and the larger 3008 to create such a machine.
Updated petrol and diesel engines will continue to be offered alongside plug-in hybrids. Peugeot remains committed to diesel and even offers it in its new 208 superminis and 2008 crossovers, while many competitors are ditching fuel at this end of the market. A fully electric version should also appear.
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