BOLOGNA, Italy -- Peugeot's new 3008 is an "extraordinary vehicle" with a level of sophistication not seen on any previous model from the French brand, PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares said.
The former No. 2 to Carlos Ghosn at Renault says the latest generation 3008 impressed him when he moved to PSA in 2014 and saw the first prototypes. "Visually, it has a very strong character. It is a Peugeot model but it avoids any ostentation," Tavares said the 3008's press launch here.
The 3008 can match similar cars from brands with a higher market positioning, Tavares said. His words echo remarks made by PSA's Europe boss, Maxime Picat, at the Paris auto show earlier this month. Picat told Automotive News Europe's sister publication Automobilwoche that he believed the new 3008 is better than the new Volkswagen Tiguan and the BMW X1.
With the latest-generation 3008, Peugeot has transformed the car into an SUV, ditching the minivan looks of the outgoing model.
At the press launch here, Peugeot did not announce sales targets for the new model, but said it plans to reach or exceed sales of the previous 3008, of which 700,000 were built over eight years.
PSA will continue to produce the 3008 for Europe in Sochaux, France. It will also be built in PSA's Chengdu plant in China where it will be called the 4008 to avoid confusion with the current 3008, which had a big restyling in the spring and will continue to be built in Wuhan, China.
Although Peugeot strongly affirms that the new 3008 is a "proper" SUV, it has no all-wheel-drive version. Instead an electronic system called Advanced Grip Control is offered to increase traction on slippery surfaces.
The brand plans to add an awd variant in 2019 coupled with PSA's new gasoline-hybrid powertrain. An electric motor will drive the rear wheels making the car awd when it operates in conjunction with the internal combustion engine that powers the front wheels. The outgoing 3008 diesel hybrid has a similar arrangement. The 3008's larger sibling, the seven-seat 5008, will not have awd because the space where the battery and electric motor would go is used by a third row of seats.
The 3008 has just launched in France where it starts at 25,900 euros for the 1.2-liter gasoline model. To show its strong commitment to diesels, which are under pressure after Volkswagen's emissions-cheating scandal, the 3008's top-of-the-range model, badged as a GT, is a diesel. The 3008 GT has a 180-hp 2.0-liter diesel unit and comes with a two-tone paint option offered on the 208 and 308 GT versions. In France the 3008 GT starts at 41,600 euros.