A strong idea from Peugeot to curb SUV fashion

It depends on the fashion of hobby SUVs that are environmentally problematic and hold the hands of designers in awe. For more than twenty years, Europe has been groaning about the consequences of a failed but devastating idea, and Peugeot is not the first brand to try to break out of the SUV category, which has swallowed up half of the new car market, but perhaps the new mule model, available from the beginning of next year, 408 is the most painstaking attempt to change the rules of the game so far.

Something already seemed to change when the BMW X6 was introduced in 2007. On the first-coupe hobby SUV, we were still laughing at its gigantic size and odd proportions, but later came the Porsche Cayenne Coupe, which was already serious, and despite its descending roofline, it has a normal rear headroom and can be ridden comfortably due to the recessed rear row of seats. Coupe-type, i.e. steep-roofed hobby SUVs can have better air resistance, resulting in lower fuel consumption, and lower emissions than conventional SUVs because of the body shape.

The Peugeot 408 is a family car that is like a station wagon, but basically based on the proportions of hobby SUVs. Photo: Peugeot

With the Peugeot 408, the brand-owned Stellantis Group continues on the path of coupe-like hobby SUVs, as the new model, which shares the floorboard shared with the Citroen C5 X, is almost a traditional passenger car from the side. It is almost 4.7 meters long, but less than 1.5 meters high and two meters wide, and has a wheelbase of 2.74 meters, which means that the car is wide, flat, due to our rabbit and the wheels pushed towards its corners. and by default it is half a cubic meter, but this can be extended to 1.6 cubic meters by tilting the seats. The car’s ground clearance with the largest 20-inch wheels will already make it suitable for tracked roads, but the 408 is not a real SUV, and will only be offered with front-wheel drive.

Photo: Peugeot

Photo: Peugeot

Although the shape factor of the new Peugeot family has not been made public, it is only from the nose training and other body-reducing solutions in the body. (including the training of the radiator grille or the lugs formed at the junction of the rear window and the roof) we can conclude that, once again, Peugeot is making every effort to cut its average fleet-level CO2 emissions, which all manufacturers must keep below 95 g / km if they do not want to pay the EU a penalty of hundreds of euros per car.

The other method is more understandable: the two most important elements in the engine range are the hybrid versions of the 180 and 225 horsepower plug-ins, respectively, which feature the same 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine with two different outputs. This is complemented by a 110-horsepower electric motor, and the cars are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission in each case. Ideally, a 12.4-kilowatt-hour hybrid battery can be charged in two hours, so at least in the city, the two top versions can act as electric cars, but charging can take up to seven hours without a high-capacity wall charger nearby.

The standard version of the Peugeot 408 will be a 130-horsepower, simple turbo-petrol, and diesel will not be offered for the coupe-combi-hobby off-road vehicle, despite the fact that Peugeot-Citroen developments still include a state-of-the-art turbo diesel engine. It seems that due to the loss of space for diesels, it is rather not forced by the French. The hybrid 408 has a ready-to-drive weight of 1.7 tonnes, three times lighter than the plain petrol version, which illustrates the main concern of partially or fully electric cars: today’s battery technology also reduces efficiency due to constant overload. Nonetheless, it is the purely electric version that will complement the Peugeot 408 in the future.