As part of its push upmarket, Peugeot is planning an assault on the four-door coupe class. Our exclusive images show the brand’s new Mercedes CLA rival – likely to be badged 408 GT – which will be based on the 308 hatch and could go on sale in 2016.
As you can see, it will be longer, lower and wider than the 308, with a more aggressive nose. Slim headlights flow into a wider grille, as on the 2012 Onyx concept, while the boomerang tail-lamps are taken from the 2008.
The look will help the 408 GT live up to Peugeot’s rich design heritage, which includes models like the stunning, Pininfarina-styled 406 Coupe.
As it shares its underpinnings with the 308, the 408 GT would be based on the company’s new lightweight EMP2 architecture. So expect an almost identical interior, with even higher-grade materials to fit the new model’s more premium image.
Engines will mirror the 308’s, too, with a choice of 1.2 and 1.6-litre petrol turbos delivering outputs from 128bhp to 168bhp. Diesel options will range from 1.6 to 2.0 litres with 118bhp to 178bhp.
The 408 GT is one of a trio of new models Peugeot has in the pipeline as it bids to improve its image – and its profit margins. An Audi Q5-sized 6008 is tipped to arrive in concept form some time this year, tapping into the lucrative compact SUV market, while a flagship 608 saloon will launch in 2017.
All three cars will be key to Peugeot’s increasing focus on China – now the world’s largest car market. Traditionally, Chinese customers have favoured large saloons, hence the 608, but with ever-tightening emissions regulations and less space on that country’s roads, their taste is diversifying towards smaller, more efficient and fashionable models, such as four-door coupés and SUVs.
Here’s proof that Peugeot has its eye on the four-door coupe market... It’s the first official teaser image of the concept it will display at April’s Beijing Motor Show.
The company has confirmed the new car is “from the same lineage as the Onyx Concept Car”, and “is a teaser of the brand’s future design”. At 4,730mm long but just 1,310mm high, it’s shorter than the 508 family car, plus lower than the RCZ coupe.
While the teaser doesn’t reveal much, you can see the short front overhang and long bonnet. Add the swooping coupe roofline, long wheelbase and long rear overhang, and the car promises a striking look.