Peugeot 308 – First Look

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New Peugeot 308 (2013)

Peugeot has provided drivers with a first look at their New 308, an updated compact family hatchback designed to wrestle market share away from Ford’s Focus, VW’s Golf, Skoda’s Octavia and Toyota’s Prius.

The new 308 will make a public debut on 10th September at The Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales will start in the UK from January 2014.

“The new Peugeot 308 has a pure and technological exterior design that speaks of high strength and high quality,” enthused Gilles Vidal, Design Director, Peugeot.”

A relatively bjiou 4.25 metres in length, the New 308′s frontage houses a modern nod to the company’s floating front grille. Slim full-LED headlamps squint out topped by a line of what looks like glittering eyeliner. The rear is equally androgynous. Peugeot are calling the three stripes on the read LED lamps ‘claws’. To the untrained eye, there’s more than a hint of eyelash.

Vincent Devos, Peugeot’s New 308 Product Manager described the interior:

“When inside the car, one discovers a world of refined style, completely original in the world of hatchback cars, with a cockpit that is intense, innovative and intuitive; it is the Peugeot i-cockpit.”

Peugeot’s i-cockpit is designed to create an experience that is ‘intuitive, relaxing the driver to focus entirely on the road ahead’ (which seems a little like describing a new chocolate bar as ‘designed to be sweet in the mouth, melty on the tongue and fattening on the waist – i.e. stating the bleeding obvious). That being said, the steering wheel is compact and display easy to read, and the new i-cockpit contains a rather splendid 9.7″ touch-screen, which reduces considerably the amount of clutter and number of dashboard buttons.

Laurent Declerck, Peugeot’s New 308 Project Director weighed in with a note on driving characteristics:

“On the road, driving pleasure is enhanced by the new EMP2 modular platform. With its considerable reduction in weight, it contributes to the dynamism and easy handling of the New Peugeot 308.”

There are, apparently, 116 patent applications in the New 308. That’s impressive. But not as impressive as the weight reduction in the 2014 car: the New 308 has shed around 140kg per car when compared to similar vehicles in the current range.

How has the car become so Kate Mossian? Well, Peugeot have reduced many of the car’s major parts in size. Nifty. The ‘dieting’ also means less CO2 emissions, as low as 85g/km.

The interior has a richer feel and the chrome/gloss detailing adds a certain amount of mature luxury to the design.

Cool, stylish, slim and eco. Nice.

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