Peugeot 308 (2008)

Published: 22 January 2007

Peugeot 308: the lowdown

This heavily disguised prototype is the first glimpse of next year's family hatchback from Peugeot: the 308. Under a whole marquee's worth of black plastic cladding lies a conventional high-roof five-door - a look pioneered by today's 307. We won't see the production 308 until 2008, but our spies have brought you the first details on this important new hatch direct from Sweden, where Peugeot is cold-weather testing in the snow. Read on for the full story.

A new 308, you say? It's certainly quite bagged up...

It is heavily disguised, but look closely and you can make out some interesting details. The 308 has an MPV-style, stretched forward scuttle, so there's a big windscreen and what look like quarterlight windows ahead of the door mirrors. The high roofline should guarantee decent interior space (like in today's 307), and if the hatchback isn't roomy enough, you can always wait for the SW estate version; a folding tin-top 308 CC model is also scheduled for production later in 2008 or '09. Although you can't quite make out the grille in this disguised prototype, one source claimed that Peugeot's gaping-mouth grille would be toned down on the new model.

What can we expect under the bonnet?

Peugeot and Citroen continue with their three-platform strategy; every new model will use one of their core platforms, with exceptions for third-party collaborations like this summer's 4007, produced in partnership with Mitsubishi. So the 308 will remain on the PF2 medium-car component set; it's the same as the Citroen C4, and means front-wheel drive, the option of an automated manual gearbox and a suite of petrol and diesel engines from 1.4 up to 2.0 litres. The 307 won the 2002 European Car of the Year gong, but never scored criticial acclaim, lacking the dynamics of the Focus, the quality of the Golf and the sharp looks of the Astra. With the 308, it aims to close that gap...

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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