Peugeot expects the sleek new styling of its forthcoming 508 mid-sized sedan to win new customers from Germany's premium automakers, the company's managing director Jean-Marc Gales said at the Geneva auto show.
The French manufacturer unveiled its 5 by Peugeot concept at the show. Gales said the final production version will compete with BMW's 3 series, the Mercedes-Benz C class and Audi's A4 when sales start in Europe at the beginning of next year. In China, the car will launch in mid-2011.
“That's exactly why (we are launching this car),” Gales told Automotive News Europe. “It's a segment dominated by German manufacturers and we want to regain back our share of that market.”
The 5 by Peugeot concept has a smaller grille, LED headlamps and has a sleeker, more dynamic look, which gives the car a less aggressive appearance than the company's current models. It is part of a design trend for European automakers following the launch of the similarly styled Volkswagen Passat and the Opel Insignia.
“This is our new design DNA of the future. Every car that we launch after this will take its inspiration from the SR1 and the 5 by Peugeot concepts,” Gales said.
The Peugeot managing director added that the mid-sized car is “90 percent” the same as the final version, set to be called the 508, that will replace the 407 and the larger 607 sedan. He said the production version will be shown at the Paris auto show in September.
The concept car features the French automaker's HYbrid4 technology, which in this case matches a front-mounted 165-hp 2.0-liter diesel with a rear-mounted electric motor that provides an additional 38 hp.
Peugeot says the car uses 3.8 liters of fuel per 100km (62 U.S. mpg) and emits 99 grams per kilometer of CO2 -- or zero emissions when driving in full-electric mode.