New Peugeot 408 plug-in hybrid fastback saloon debuts; EV version to come

Plug-in hybrid power will be available from launch, fully electric version will arrive in 2023

Rakish rooflines and coupe-SUVs are all the rage at the moment, and Peugeot is the latest brand looking to cash in on the craze with this: the new 408 fastback saloon.

Standing 1.48 metres tall, the 408 is more of a high-riding saloon than a coupe-SUV like the Renault Arkana or Volvo C40. In fact, according to Peugeot, the 408 is the first car of its kind on the market, although there’s some family resemblance thanks to a handful of styling cues taken from the latest 308 hatchback and estate.

They include ‘sabre-tooth’ daytime running lights and triple ‘claw’ rear lights. The new car also gets the brand’s recently redesigned logo, with a large lion’s head badge in the centre of its grille, which has itself been tweaked for the fastback.

In Peugeot’s line-up, the 408 slots in between the 508 family car and mid-size 3008 SUV. Practicality-wise, the raised-up five-door features a large hatchback tailgate and 471 litres of boot space (in the plug-in hybrid version). With the rear seats dropped, that increases to 1,545 litres. Despite the sloping roofline, Peugeot claims the 408 will still offer plenty of headroom, with little ‘relief areas’ in the roof at the rear to boost space for passengers.

Inside, the cabin design is the same latest 308, including the use of Peugeot’s ‘i-Cockpit’ instrument setup with 3D dials on top-spec models, a 10-inch central touchscreen and a touch-sensitive panel of shortcut buttons below that. The 408 will also be available with plenty more kit, like a 10-speaker Focal stereo, matrix LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging and Peugeot’s latest semi-autonomous driving technology.

The 408 sits on the EMP2 platform that also underpins the 308, Vauxhall Astra and DS 4, and is offered with the same Hybrid 180 and Hybrid 225 plug-in hybrid powertrains – making 178 and 222bhp respectively – with both versions pairing a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor, 12.4kWh battery and eight-speed automatic transmission.

Performance, fuel economy and electric range figures for the plug-in hybrid 408 have yet to be revealed, but based on the stats for the 308 Hybrid, we expect the electrified fastback should be able to return in excess of 250mpg and cover around 30 miles on battery power alone. Acceleration from 0-62mph in the most potent version should take under nine seconds.

We do know that the plug-in 408 will come as standard with a 3.7kW on-board charger, which will allow you to top up the 12.4kWh battery in just over three hours from a home wallbox. However, you’ll be able to upgrade to a 7.4kW charger, which cuts that time to a little under two hours.

Finally, Peugeot will launch a fully electric version – likely to be called the e-408 – a few months after the 408 goes on sale in early 2023. The zero-emissions variant will in all likelihood use the same 154bhp electric motor and 54kWh battery setup as the Peugeot e-308 and Vauxhall Astra-e, which are also slated to arrive in 2023. Those models will have a range of approximately 250 miles on a full charge, but no other technical details have been released so far.

The 408 will be offered in Allure and GT trim levels, with alloy wheels up to 20 inches. Pricing is still under wraps, but given the Peugeot 308 Hybrid’s starting price of nearly £34,000, the more style-focused Peugeot 408 Hybrid is likely to start from close to £40,000.

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