With the recently launched 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered, Peugeot are aiming to go more upmarket with this new ‘premium’ model, leading the charge. One made it’s way to CC&V Towers recently & here’s what we thought.
The 508 Sport Engineered is Peugeot looking to the future with a performance plug-in hybrid, designed to offer driving thrills, whilst offering company car drivers just 12% BIK. In fact, it’s the models plug-in efficiency that makes it worth considering from a purely money oriented point of view, with it’s claimed 138.9mpg, up there with the best in class.
Well as the 508 saloon is in our opinion, the best looking car in it’s sector, it get’s off to a good start. Taking it’s cue from the Audi A5, the 508 is a five door ‘fastback’ & our test car was finished in attractive Selenium Grey. This 508 is on steroids though, with 20″ alloys, bodywork featuring lime green trim including brake callipers, a gloss back rear lower bumper with diffuser effect & glass black B & C pillars with aerodynamic deflector trim. It looks the business, but may be too brash for some.
Mirroring the 508 range, the dashboard features Peugeot’s i-Cockpit & small steering wheel. Elsewhere, the trims & finishes are more upmarket with leather upholstery, featuring lime contrast stitching & soft touch plastics, utilising plenty of dark grey & chrome.
The dashboard features the Peugeot configurable 12.3″ head-up digital instrument panel & 10″ high definition (HD) capacitive touchscreen. Both are clear & precise & with separate piano keyboard switches underneath that also control functions such as the climate control, it’s an easy system to work with.
Cabin & boot practicality
Being a fastback, internal space in the rear is slightly compromised, with rear head room taking a hit. Up front though, space is excellent, with the cabin boasting 32 litres of storage, as well as four USB sockets to charge portable devices, one jack plug in the armrest & two 12V sockets, including one in the boot space.
The boot itself, offers a useful 487-litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats up & a total of 1,537 litres with the rear seats folded flat. The boot floor lifts up to reveal a space to hide the charging cable.
Being Peugeot’s flagship car, the 508 Sport Engineered doesn’t want for much at all. A Focal premium stereo, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, connected 3D SatNav, adaptive cruise control, Peugeot’s Visio Park 360 degree colour reversing camera, keyless entry, heated massage seats, a powered tailgate & full-LED lights are all included. Plus ,a very long list of safety features courtesy of Peugeot’s Driver Assist, Sport & Safety Packs, including Lane Positioning & Smart Beam Assist.
The PSE uses the familiar PSA group 1.6-litre PureTech turbo petrol unit, which has been combined with a pair of electric motors. One on the front axle & one on the rear. These are propelled by an 11.5kWh battery that gives the sporty 508 an electric range of 26 miles.
The petrol engine produces 200bhp, whilst the front & the rear electric motor add another 200bhp. This gives the PSE a total output of 355bhp, with 520Nm, making it Peugeot’s most potent production model ever. The e-EAT 8speed auto box does all of the hard work for you & in Sport Mode, you can reach 62mph from zero in just 6.2 seconds. Top speed is an eye watering 155mph.
The on-board 11.5kWh battery takes one hour 45 minutes to charge using a a 7.4kW home wall box. Utilise an EV car charging plan such as Octopus Go, that includes a night time discount, where 00.30 – 04.30 hours charging can be had for 7.5p a kWh & the 508 can be pre-programmed to only charge between these hours, costing you 12p to charge from zero, which for 26 miles or even 20, is a veritable bargain.
It’s worth noting that the far right piano keyboard button gets you into a screen where by you can save battery charge. This is the e-SAVE function, which basically lets the driver set an electric energy reserve. The hybrid system can be instructed to save its battery charge for use later on. The only issue being, that every time you get into the the car, you have to re-set it to on.
12% BIK means big savings with the tax man. Zero year one VED too. The claimed 138.9mpg looks good on paper, although you’ll find that even if you plug-in regularly, any longer journey undertaken on the motorway is going to see this figure drop to a more realistic 40-50mpg.
This 508 is competing with some pretty mean machines & to be perfectly honest, it does a very good job indeed. First of all, it’s been cleverly kitted out. The front & rear tracks have been widened & the springs are 50% stiffer than a standard 508. Furthermore, three-mode adaptive dampers are standard, the wheels feature Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres & there are massive Alcon brake callipers on the 380mm discs up front.
The combination of petrol & electric motors gives the 508 a real shove off the line. Straight line acceleration is mightily impressive. The small steering wheel courts controversy. I really like it but am only 5ft 8″. Taller drivers find it hard to work with, but there’s no doubting that it adds to the car’s enjoyment, with it’s controlled turning guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Whatever you try, the PSE handles it with aplomb.
Choose from four Drive Modes; Comfort, Hybrid, Electric & Sport. Comfort is the de facto choice for day to day driving & we drove most of the time in this. Hybrid allows you use some of the battery range when required & Electric allows you to drive in just electric mode. Sport tightens the throttle & makes the car more fun to drive, but does decrease fuel economy, see paragraph above.
If you’re driving around town you are best off utilising the electric range which in turn makes for comfortable, quiet motoring. More good news is that by shifting the automatic gear lever to the B function, just pull it back once, you can increase the cars ability to regenerate energy, further enhancing the cars green credentials.
For motorway use we preferred the Comfort mode, which allows you to cruise whilst still having plenty of kick-down power to overtake when required. Family members had no complaints about the cars comfortable ride & seats, or the good leg room on offer, although rear headroom is compromised by the sloping roof. In reality, the back seats are really only spacious enough for two.
With the last few days of my week spent close to home, I plugged the 508 into my home 7kW Rolec charger & was able to use the electric range for local journeys. Despite this, the final average mpg for my week in the 508 never topped 41.9mpg, a result that’s perhaps not as high as customers would expect from a plug-in hybrid car, even one that bears it’s teeth like the PSE !
Looks fabulous, handles brilliantly, tremendously well equipped & also fastback practical. We got two flat pack IKEA units in no problem at all. And, it’s a BIK dream.
At over 50k, it’s expensive & it’s genuinely not as well made as the German competition. Take the claimed combined mpg with a pinch of salt. This car demands to be driven & it’s almost impossible not to enjoy, so be realistic about your fuel economy. Some of the exterior styling is bit bling-tastic.
The 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered makes a pretty decent stab at the sector & to all intents & purposes, more than matches the handling of other ‘ hot saloons.’ It’s real ‘ace’ in the hole though, is it’s plug-in capabilities & company car tax benefits, which will save you money if you lease one. Not only will you enjoy the cars company for three years, it’s also a very practical proposition as well.
A fast & furious 3.75/5