Peugeot reveals new 308 with sub 85g/km emissions
13 May 2013
Author: Jack Carfrae
The new Peugeot 308 will be the lowest-emitting model in the lower medium sector when it goes on sale in January 2014.
The cleanest variant of the French firm's hatchback will emit less than 85g/km, eclipsing established class leaders such as the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion at 85g/km and the Ford Focus Econetic at 88g/km.
Sporting all-new styling, it has been brought into line with the rest of Peugeot's range and apes the likes of the 208 and 508.
Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar prior to the unveiling of the first official images of the new 308, UK fleet boss Phil Robson described the car as "a big tick in a box from a fiscal point of view."
"This segment has become arguably the most important. The larger car market has declined as crossovers have come in and it has highlighted the importance of cars in this segment.
"Really, in volume terms, it's this segment that's make or break for fleets."
Exact engines and transmissions have yet to be confirmed but the 308 is expected to be fitted with a similar suite of powertrains as the 2008 crossover so, in addition to HDi diesels, low capacity and high power petrol engines will play a big role.
Peugeot's existing 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is believed to be one of those, which would leave room for a flagship GTi performance model in a similar vein to the existing 208 GTi.
In addition to small, efficient engines, the firm is citing a large 140kg weight reduction as one of the main factors behind cleaning up the 308.
It also has a larger than average boot for the size of car at 470 litres.
Robson admitted that the current model had suffered because it was the last in the range to be updated and had fallen behind the competition as a result.
"The old 308 is the last of the old guard. It's the last of our not so exciting vehicles. A lot has happened with our brand over the last four years.
"We've got cars like the 508, the 3008, the RCZ - cars that have really raised the bar. People are expecting something stylish and desirable. Customers - those that have read between the lines and know it's coming - are already interested in it. It's a pretty receptive market that's out there for the 308."
He also stated that crossover vehicles and their booming popularity represent a bigger challenge to lower medium models than their direct hatchback rivals.
"The bigger challenge is things like crossover vehicles. To be fair, we're as guilty as anyone else at introducing them but we've factored that in. We don't have to sell the same amount of 308s as we did before because we've got these [crossover] vehicles as well."