New 308, 508 on way

PEUGEOT’S slow-selling 308 hatch will receive a shot in the arm early next year with a facelifted version that hides a raft of technical updates.

The new distributor of the French brand in Australia, Inchcape, has also confirmed that the still-secret new 508 large sedan will be launched in Australia later next year. The 308 updates were previewed in Europe last week, and include minor exterior revisions to the bonnet and bumpers, as well as the addition of LED daytime running lamps across the range. Under the skin, though, the entire wiring loom of the car has been replaced in order to equip it with driver-assist systems that will include advanced autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning.

As well, modifications to both the 1.2-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines bring them into line with the more arduous Euro 6c standards, which have been issued in the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal to force car-makers to more closely replicate stated fuel economy and emissions figures with real-world results. An AdBlue urea additive system has been added to the diesels, while directinjection petrol engines also receive a particulate filter in addition to a threelevel catalytic converter.

The company also previewed a new 1.5-litre diesel engine in the 308, but no details have been confirmed for Australia. The engine modifications will be supplemented by an Aisin-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission that is set to replace the six-speed unit currently fitted to the car. No manuals are offered in Australia, except the selfshifting-only 308 GTi. 308 sales have dipped to an all-time low with the change of distributorship from Sime Darby to Inchcape, with just 80 registrations last month. This compares to 153 sales in June last year. Total sales of 415 for the first six months of the year represent a 45.5 per cent downturn compared to the same period in 2016.

Meanwhile, Peugeot has confirmed that the new 508 sedan will be sold in Australia from next year. Staff from Peugeot Australia recently travelled to Sochaux in France to assess the yet-tobe-released 508 in disguised form. Manager of Peugeot, Citroen and DS brand development for Australia, Olivier Daurele, confirmed the new sedan – which has sold just 12 units thus far in 2017 – would arrive in 2018.

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