Peugeot has joined the fastback trend with the 408, a compact model that shares technology and a platform with the 308, targeting buyers in the segment who want an alternative to hatchbacks, station wagons and SUVs.
The 408 will go on sale at the start of 2023, Peugeot said Wednesday in announcing the long-awaited model. It will be available with two plug-in hybrid gasoline engines and one gasoline-only engine. A full-electric version will follow several months after launch.
The 408 will be built on parent company Stellantis’ EMP2 platform (for compact and midsize cars) in Mulhouse, France, for European customers, and in Chengdu, China, for that market.
An increasing number of European models are being launched with a fastback silhouette, in part to give automakers another body style to offer within popular segments, and in part because they offer improved aerodynamics, important for fuel economy and electric range, over boxy SUVs.
Designers also say the fastback look conveys additional sophistication and dynamism compared with a hatchback or wagon.
“With the new 408, Peugeot completes its offer in the highly strategic C-segment [compact],” the brand said in a news release. Many European automakers are shifting their focus from low-margin small and minicars to more-profitable compact segments, in part to compensate for high costs of emissions compliance, including electrification and hybridization.
Peugeot’s compact lineup also includes the 308 and 3008 SUV.