German car website Auto Bild is stating that production of a new Peugeot 408 GT will begin in Europe next year. This is an exciting development, because the 408 GT is an executive model that’s about 3000 times more interesting than a Mondeo.
Not that Ford’s trusty saloon is a direct competitor. No, with this new muscular model, Peugeot is moving nicely upmarket and has cars like the VW CC in its crosshairs. Will it hit the mark, though?
This is the four-door coupe market. It’s one that’s currently on fire, with gorgeous contenders including the Volkswagen CC, the Mercedes CLA and the Audi A5 Sportback. Will there be room for the 408 GT in 2016?
First requirements are distinctive looks and oodles of style and the 408 GT scores well here. We had hints of what a Peugeot offering in this sector could look like at the Beijing Motor Show of last year. There, the French firm showed us the Exalt concept, a coupe with the curvaceous appeal of Kelly Brook.
The 408 GT isn’t quite as sexy as the Exalt, or Kelly, but it certainly looks bold and beautiful. LED headlights are claw-shaped, the arches are flared like 70s jeans and the headlights glint mischievously. The roofline is nice and low, it has short overhangs and C-pillars that could fell a horse.
Peugeot has clearly done its homework on the market. According to General Director Maxime Picat, “this kind of saloon segment is key”. He was referring to the Exalt concept, but the 408 GT is clearly the version intended for public consumption.
At the Shanghai Motor Show, Peugeot lifted the lid on the 308 S, a saloon version of the hatchback. This implies that the 408 name will be preserved in GT form. China could be the main target, where they love executive models like this, but sales in Europe are a distinct possibility.
The running gear required is already in place. The EMP2 platform from the 308 could easily be slotted into the PureTech and BlueHDi diesels versions.
You can expect a 1.6-litre petrol 408GT to offer about 270bhp, and diesels should vary from 120bhp to 180bhp.
The 408 GT could be the first Peugeot model to get the hybrid treatment, as the Exalt concept offered a 335bhp hybrid unit. According to Autocar, emissions regulations are getting tougher, so expect Peugeot’s entire range to get the green treatment before long.