The '5 by Peugeot' is a heavy hint of what to expect from the new Peugeot 508. Forget the silly name, we'll call it the Peugeot 5 concept car. It'll be the centrepiece of the Peugeot stand at the 2010 Geneva motor show and the new concept car encapsulates the new design direction espoused by last month's SR1 roadster concept in a more production-ready vehicle.
The 5 name is designed to prepare us for the shift from 407 to 508 – this is a thinly veiled hint of the production 508 saloon which will compete with the Mondeo/Insignia/Laguna/C5 set. The new Peugeot 508 – or a hint, at least
Peugeot calls the 5 concept car a 'large luxury vehicle', but we all know the problems that have beset large French luxobarges in the past. The new 5 concept car is 4860mm long and rides on whopping 19in alloys.
The 5 is certainly more striking than its ageing 407/607 predecessors, with its brushed aluminium window surrounds and door handles, and there are plenty of details purloined from the SR1 concept: the smaller, more recessed grille is more elegant than the massive shark's gob that's adorned recent efforts. And we like the sculpted-away feel of the metalwork, implying lightness. Bulky is out of favour in Paris, at last.
But let's not get carried away. At least one CAR hack spluttered something about 'a French Insignia' when the first photos popped in our inbox this evening. Perhaps the final stylistic verdict should wait for Geneva.Peugeot 5: it's another French hybrid
The 5 is yet another Peugeot powered by the PSA HYbrid4 system, which mixes a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel with a 37bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels. Power stands at 200bhp, economy at 73mpg and CO2 tumbles to just 99g/km, or nil in zero-emissions electric mode around town.
This is real tech: the first production Peugeot hybrid will be the 3008 due in 2011. What's clever about HYbrid4 is that it can be scaled to fit in several of PSA's architectures, not just the bigger cars, because the rear axle is essentially a plug-in add-on.Hints of SR1 in a saloon bodystyle
The SR1 roadster was shown in early January 2010 to indicate a shift in emphasis in Peugeot's design values, and was part of a wider relaunch of the whole brand. 'Bravo' we said – for CAR has been too quick to slate Peugeot's recent efforts, and we applaud the attempt to make them interesting again.
This new Geneva concept is an indication that our hopes may yet be realised. Follow our show coverage which kicks off on 1 March 2010 – live from the Geneva motor show floor.