Next Peugeot 508 to be a radical electric saloon like Tesla Model 3
The Inception's sharp, square proportions will be a great fit for the next-generation 508 Rakish French executive set for total reinvention as it moves on to advanced new architecture.
The French firm will transition from the legacy PSA Group architecture to the new Stellantis STLA modular electric vehicle platforms. This will be available to Peugeot and its 13 sibling brands starting in 2025.
These platforms, as shown by the stunning Peugeot Inception concept, will bring about a significant change in the technical makeup of Peugeot's EVs. They will introduce new wireless steering hardware, advanced autonomous driving capabilities, and more powerful motors. They will also allow for longer-range batteries that can charge faster (and possibly wirelessly) than ever before.
Peugeot made it clear that it does not plan to produce a production Inception, but its distinctive, low-slung silhouette and sharp, squared propositions make it resemble the Mk2 Peugeot 508, which is on sale since 2018. It will be replaced when the first STLA-based electric vehicle arrives.
The future of the 508 has been in doubt for a long time as sales in the traditional D segment saloon and estate market have fallen in light increased demand for SUVs. Competitors such as the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia, and the Volvo S60, all recently bowed out. But, Linda Jackson, CEO of Peugeot, stated that the brand will not be reducing model lines as it reinvents.
Jackson stated this during a speech at the Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas earlier in the month. It's all about updating each model as we go along.
A subsequent preview of Peugeot's next generation EV lineup (below) shows a low-slung fastback in line with the 508, as well as successors to the Peugeot 208 hatchbacks and Peugeot 308 hatchbacks – as well as the trio’s SUV siblings.
Although the 508's successor will likely keep its name, it will be heavily restyled, subtly repositioned, and will try to boost its popularity and link it closer to its future stablemates.
She said, "I don’t think anyone is saying that SUVs will disappear, because they’re still as popular and as ubiquitous as ever, but all of us are looking for ways to make them aerodynamic, so you start to move into slightly differing silhouettes."
Jackson acknowledged that SUVs offer a higher driving position and more flexibility, but said that experimenting with new body styles in this segment could improve efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
Stellantis's sister brand Vauxhall will also be returning with electric power (and greater ground clearance) in 2025. This raises the possibility that it and the next 508 could be twinned.
Jerome Micheron, the Peugeot product director, summarized the company's vision of future product segmentation succinctly by saying that there is life beyond SUVs. He also acknowledged that Peugeot has been "very successful" with its 2008 and 3008 models but said that "low-roof" cars like the 208 or 308 are still strong-selling mainstays in the lineup.
"What we are saying is that all the technologies you have seen will be available on Peugeot models across the range. It's a manifesto, if you will. It's a showcase of technologies and not just a statement about a great idea.
"We are investing for the future. We must also remember that all aspects of electrification are being developed at a rapid pace. These technologies will be available from 2025. However, we are not saying that fast charging will be available in 2025.
We must move forward, and we must find smart, simple solutions for our customers."