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Peugeot 308 (2008) undisguised

Published: 16 April 2007

The disguise is slowly coming off... so what's the Peugeot 308 really like?

Until now the elusive 308 has always been spotted clad in layers of black plastic, but CAR Online has just shot Peugeot's Focus fighter shorn of its heaviest disguise. Our snapper caught Peugeot unawares during a commercial photoshoot in Cape Town, South Africa - by leaning out of his office block window. Peugeot’s mid-size family hatch won't be seen officially until 2008, but our latest photos confirm that the 308 shares the high roofline and five doors from today's 307. And this snatched overhead view suggests it will follow the blueprint set by smaller brother, the 207 supermini. There's still a bit of disguise around the front and rear, but these are the best shots yet of the new Pug.

Okay, so what’s new for 2008?

Peugeot might disagree, but it's clear from these photos that this newcomer won't represent the same seismic shift from 306 to 307, but there are some notable changes. There's that glass roof, which seems to be ever more popular with volume manufacturers these days. There are also a few styling points nabbed from the 207, such as the door mirrors which are mounted on the body of the door rather than the window. Expect a bit of mesh around the newly restyled grille and a deeper bumper, too.

What can we expect under the bonnet?

There'll be the usual range of engines from Peugeot’s mid-sized hatchbacks with petrol and diesel engines from 1.4 to 2.0 litres. However, the ace up Peugeot’s sleeve is the addition of an eco-friendly diesel hybrid version, which the technical gurus at Peugeot claim will pump out a minuscule 90g/km of CO2, undercutting the current leader, the Toyota Prius, by 14g/km.

So when can I buy one?

The 308 hatchback will nudge the 307 off the forecourt in 2008, with the SW estate and Coupe Cabriolet arriving soon afterwards – either later in the year or 2009. Prices are yet to be confirmed, but it’s reasonable to assume that the 308 will command a slight premium over the current 307, which starts at £12,110. The diesel hybrid will cost more, and arrive within a year of launch.

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