Peugeot 508 PSE, proof: high performance is plug-in

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The Peugeot 508 PSE has an important mission within the Leo brand’s strategy: to redefine the concept of road sportsmanship by exploiting the new possibilities offered by electrification. Thus, this version of the 508, which is available both as a sedan and as a station wagon, bears the Peugeot Sport Engineered acronym for the first time, which is not just a theoretical term. Instead, it is a new division within the French brand that will deal only with high performance and from which we will soon see another model, probably the 308. Returning to the 508 PSE, with a list price of around 70,000 euros, it enters a market territory usually a fiefdom of German brands and their sports departments. They are the high-performance representative cars, widespread mainly in the German market, where it is easy to see them whizzing on the autobahns at over 200 km / h.

The 508 PSE tries to enter this restricted and exclusive club with a new recipe, using the plug-in hybrid powertrain common to many cars of the Stellantis PSA wing and modifying it if necessary, with an eye more to performance than efficiency . Thus the 200 HP of the 1.6 turbobenzina are accompanied by the 113 HP of the rear electric motor and by the 110 HP of those integrated in the 8-speed automatic transmission. The total power is 360 hp, with a torque of 520 Nm, discharged to the ground by an all-wheel drive without a propeller shaft. The system also includes an 11.8 kWh lithium-ion battery positioned in front of the rear axle, which lowers the center of gravity and centers the masses, to the advantage of dynamics. for recharging you can use the 3.7 kW on-board charger or the optional 7.4 kW charger, with times ranging from 7 to two hours; the range in WLTP approved electric mode is 42 km.

Speaking of pure performance, the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered sprints from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.2 seconds and reaches 250 km / h (self-limited). These numbers are accompanied by substantial changes to the set-up, which compared to that of the other 508s is lower and more rigid. In addition, the tracks are wider, the anti-roll bars are thicker and the brakes more powerful, with 380 mm diameter discs that peek out behind the 20-inch wheels that fit the Michelin Pilot Sport 4. In short, the 508 PSE is a ‘ car to be driven, preferably on the wide mixed, given the 4.75 meters in length and the weight close to two tons. In these situations you can appreciate the great stability and promptness of the steering, while in more tortuous routes the poor predictability of the hybrid system to the accelerator inputs emerges. This is a feature that is found in all driving modes: when you accelerate you never know if the system will downshift, if the combustion engine or the electric engine will intervene first or vice versa.

In other words, the 508 prefers a smooth grand tourer ride to a more edgy sports car, as the noteworthy aesthetic might suggest. The great base of the 508 got more aggressive with some skilful touches to the bodywork. Inside you can appreciate the high quality materials and assemblies, as well as the great technological equipment. Too bad that the i-cockpit always remains problematic for some builds, given the poor adjustment range of the small steering wheel, which is always positioned very low. The last consideration concerns consumption: to have 360 ​​HP available at all times, the heat engine must always recharge the battery, which never drops below a certain level of charge. In our brief test in the Lazio roads around the military base of Pratica di Mare, we were unable to collect precise data, but the feeling is that to stay above the psychological threshold of 10 km / liter we need a lot of attention.

Peugeot 508 PSE, the card

What is that: the high-performance version, plug-in hybrid, of the French brand. It is available as both a sedan and a station wagon

Dimensions: length 4.75 meters, width 1.86 m height 1.71 m, pitch 2.79 m

Trunk: 487 liters

Motor: hybrid powertrain, 1.6 4-cylinder turbo petrol with 200 HP, 2 electric motors with 223 HP. System power: 360 hp, 520 Nm torque

Exchange: 8-speed automatic with torque converter

Traction: integral, without drive shaft

Benefits: performance, on-board technology, design, braking

Defects: driving sensitivity, driving position not very adaptable

Production: Sochaux, France

Prices: The price list of the Puegeot 508 Sport Engineered starts from the 69,450 euros of the sedan and reaches the 70,660 euros of the station wagon

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