TopGear.com13 May 2013

The new Peugeot 308 revealed

This is the car Pug plans to go upmarket with…

The new Peugeot 308 revealed

A little while ago Peugeot started struggling to make ends meet, so it came up with a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel. ‘Let's tell everyone we're a posh company and charge more money,' they said.

The first cars Peugeot decided were posh were the not bad 208 hatch and 2008 crossover, and now there's this - the Focus and Golf-sized 308. It's slightly shorter and lower than the outgoing car, because underneath that bourgeoisie sheet metal it's based on the new EMP2 platform, developed by parent company, PSA.

Normally we don't prattle on about stuff like platform codes, but this is actually quite an important step forward for Lord Peugeotington-Symthe. It set PSA back £532m to develop, and as well as all the normal claimed improvements in ride and handling, the engine mounts are really low so the bonnet can look sharper and more sleek. And that dials out the chubby bonnet of Peugeot's yore, as you can see in the pics.

The company claims it's also as much as 140kg lighter than its predecessor (depending on engine and trim levels), and that's seen an improvement in emissions - as low as 85g/km for the cleanest models.

Inside, there's barely a button in sight. The cabin borrows from the manufacturer's ‘i-cockpit' design philosophy, which we first saw in the 208. That means there'll be a miniscule, Hob Nob-sized steering wheel, heads-up instrument binnacle, tall centre console and glaringly stark everything else - no need for buttons here, because most of the major controls are taken car of via the 9-inch touchscreen.

We'll get more info when it arrives officially at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Reckon its posh enough for the brand's upmarket aspirations?

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