Look to the Future: Peugeot 308

Volkswagen has a brand new Golf, Seat a new Leon and Opel will come with a new Astra next year. The C-segment is therefore quite fresh, but the Peugeot 308 actually dates back to 2013. Time to look ahead to much-needed renewal.

The second generation 308 that you currently find in showrooms, was a straight shot for Peugeot in the rose rooted mainly in fiscally fertile soil. Thanks to the constant refinement of its savings diesel, the 1.6 BlueHDi, Peugeot in the Netherlands was able to benefit from favorable addition percentages for a long time. That gave the 308 a top listing in the sales figures in 2015. With more than 29,000 units sold, especially of the 308 SW, the Peugeot proudly took the first place in the sales statistics. The model left the Golf miles behind with 18,105 units sold.

Since 2016, the declining sales line with the 308 has been good, last year the car with 3,787 copies was only good for place 37 in the sales list. The success of 2015 will no longer be equaled due to a smoother addition landscape, but there is a lot to be gained. The competition in the 308 segment nowadays not only has models with mild hybrid technology, but even with plug-in hybrid or even fully electric powertrains. When the third generation 308 appears next year, Peugeot will also participate in all that innovation.

208 chasing

That already starts with the appearance. Based on spy photos, we have been able to deduce that the new 308 seems to be a combination of the current 308 and the smaller 208 in terms of lines. The 308 gets a relatively aggressive snout in which sleek and a lot flatter LED headlights determine the image. Just like the 208, 2008, 508 and the revised 3008 and 5008, the youngest 308 also gets the now familiar ‘tusks’ on either side of its front. The grille seems to be cut into two parts, just like the current 308, with the lower one near the bumper being a lot wider than the upper one. Not a hexagonal copy like on the current 208. The windows of the forthcoming 308 show similarities with those of the 208, especially in the C-pillar, but the current 308 had a similarly shaped C-pillar. Not an earth-shattering change in that regard. A nice surprise: Peugeot gives the new 308 a classic version of its logo, which the brand also applied to the e-Legend Concept. We also see similarities with existing models at the rear. As with the 208, 508, 3008 and 5008, the rear lights are optically connected.

Plugs

Something special is going on with the technology of the latest 308. Just like the next generation of the Opel Astra and the returning DS 4 (Crossback), the Peugeot stands on a further development of the current EMP2 platform. In any case, that means that the 308 will include two plug-in hybrid versions, which the current model unfortunately lacks. Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato has already hinted at the possible arrival of a fully electric 308, which would require a lot of adjustments with the current platform. That e-308 would be a downright attack on the Volkswagen ID.3. Peugeot has a brand new EV-dedicated modular base in the development chambers, but that eVMP-baptized platform won’t go live until 2023. Whether that means that Peugeot will only come with an ID.3 killer in three years time remains to be seen.

In addition to electrified variants of the 308, you can also count on conventional PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel versions. Undoubtedly, the 308 hatchback will again be joined by a station wagon, the 308 SW. What will happen in the sporting field is still unclear. There is a sporty plug-in hybrid version of the 508 to which Peugeot has adhered to the Peugeot Sport Engineered label (PSE). In any case, we are betting on the arrival of a muscular 308 PSE with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Given the rich history of the GTi label, it is not obvious that Peugeot will give up this three-letter combination, but what the future will bring remains to be seen.

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