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  • New Peugeot 408 GT Has VW In Its Sights
  • 04 June 2015
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    New Peugeot 408 GT Has VW In Its Sights

    The new Peugeot 408 GT is the latest incarnation of the French company’s desire to move upmarket.

The new Peugeot 408 GT is the latest incarnation of the French company’s desire to move upmarket. With this new executive model planned for 2016, Peugeot is clearly putting models such as the VW CC in its sights and pulling the trigger. But is it a direct hit?

The four-door coupe market is a swish and slick one that’s seen the rise of delicious models such as the Mercedes CLA, the Volkswagen CC and the Audi A5 Sportback. Now the 408 GT wants a piece of the action.

Style and distinctive looks are the keys here. But the Beijing Motor Show of 2014 did give us a glimpse of what kind of statement Peugeot intended to make with its vehicles. The firm unveiled the Exalt concept, a striking coupe with more in common with Aston Martin than PSA Peugeot-Citroen.

While not as uninhibited design-wise as the Exalt, the Peugeot 408 certainly makes a bold and beautiful statement. Arches are flared in anger and the claw-shaped LED headlights seem to come with a mischievous glint. Overhangs are short, there’s a sexy roofline and the C-pillar is reassuringly substantial.

German motoring website Auto Bild is reporting that the 408 GT is a done deal, with production set for next year. It makes sense for Peugeot to move into this sector, and Peugeot General Director Maxime Picat declared at the launch of the Exalt that “this kind of saloon segment is key”.

There were further hints at Peugeot’s intentions at the Shanghai Motor Show earlier this year, where the French car maker unveiled the 308 S, a saloon version of the hatchback. That suggests that the 408 name will continue as the GT. There’s a strong customer base for models like this in China, so that might be the main target, but sales in the UK could well happen.

Technically speaking, the running gear needed to breathe life into the concept already exists. Peugeot would use the EMP2 platform from the 308, making the PureTech and BlueHDi diesels a good fit.

The petrol version of the 408GT should deliver around 270bhp from a 1.6-litre turbo, while the diesel models should range from 120bhp to 180bhp. 

Autocar reports that, with emissions regulations getting tougher, Peugeot’s mainstream models will all be ‘hybridised’. The 408 GT might be the first model to receive the technology, as the Exalt concept exhibited a 335bhp hybrid unit comprising a 1.6-litre turbo combined with a rear-axle-mounted electric motor.

To test drive any of the current Peugeot range, head down to Howards Group showrooms in Dorchester, Yeovil, Taunton or Weston-Super-Mare.

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