Peugeot’s recent design fire shows no signs of petering out
Like a string of Instagram Reels you just can’t help but respond to with repeated fi re emojis, Peugeot’s recent offerings keep turning up the design heat. The 208, 2008 and face-lifted 3008, plus the (sadly unavailable) 508 and all-new 308 have won the brand’s design team worldwide acclaim. While the man who first lit the Blitz, Gilles Vidal, has since moved on, the startling 408 confirms Peugeot’s design furnace is still red hot.
All the marque’s latest cues are present here, including the seamless procedurally modelled grille, bold new badge, light signature fangs, triple-claw rear lights and expressively creased surfaces. Long, wide and not too tall despite a handy ride height, the 408 is not short on stance, particularly when rolling on the optional 20-inch rims.
Being a 4,69 m C-segment fastback with an almost 2,8 m wheelbase, the 408 promises a useful ratio of cargo to people space. Those who occupy the front seats will certainly not be bored, especially if the buyer goes tick-crazy on an equipment list that includes a 10-inch central touchscreen driven by Peugeot’s i-Connect Advanced infotainment system including navigation, over-the-air updates, wireless phone charging and four USB-C sockets.
A heated windscreen, ambient lighting, automated boot lid, heated and powered seats with memory settings and a multiprogram air massage function are other don’t-need-but-must-haves.
Powering this poised new French feline is a choice of two plug-in-hybrid powertrains with 134 kW and 168 kW, respectively, and a 97 kW turbocharged petrol model. All variants transmit power through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Completing the high-tech package is a range of 30 driving assistance systems informed by an astonishing network of six cameras and nine radars. And to think, man landed on the moon using only geometry and two sets of eyeballs!
According to Peugeot, the 408 hits European and Chinese showrooms first (early 2023) but will be sold in global markets. It has not yet been confirmed for South Africa.