Peugeot 308 SUV

The 308 is heading into the rough!

Here’s a top-secret Peugeot you’re not supposed to see until late next year! This is the all-new 3008 off-roader, and it promises to be the most car-like SUV yet.

The tough-looking family model will go head-to-head with rivals such as Nissan’s Qashqai and the Volks­wagen Tiguan. And as our exclusive picture shows, it takes styling cues – especially those slanted headlights – from the 308 RC Z coupé, driven by Auto Express in Issue 993.

Our spy photographers have also captured a heavily disguised 3008 test mule undergoing cold weather trials (right). This confirms the newcomer’s chunky, estate-style profile and low ride height, which should mean a spa­cious interior and car-like handling.

Inside, as well as providing plenty of room, the model will be available with a range of luxury options. These are likely to include a pano­ramic glass roof and integrated sat-nav.

As its name suggests, the 3008 – which is referred to internally at Peu­geot as the T8 – will join the range below the Mitsubishi-derived 4007.

This off-roader sells along­side a Citroen sister model, in the shape of the C-Crosser, and engineers at the double chevron are also developing their own version of the new mach­ine, currently codenamed the B8.

Our sources have revealed that the 3008 will be available in both five and seven-seat configurations, with the latter featuring a third row of fold-flat chairs. Customers will also be able to choose between two and four-wheel drive on both models.

Entry-level variants will be front-driven, and promise lower CO2 emissions and strong fuel economy as a result. The four-wheel-drive transmission is to be reserved for top-of-the-range models, which will provide the go-anywhere traction of a proper 4x4 – although the car’s limited ride height prevents extreme off-roading.

The 3008 is set to borrow its engines from the 308 line-up, with a wide range of petrol powerplants on offer. These will include the turbocharged 1.6-litre seen in the 207 supermini, and shared with the new MINI line-up. Diesel models look set to account for the majority of sales, though, and the newcomer is likely to be offered with a choice of 1.6 and 2.0-litre HDi oil-burners.

Peugeot top brass are scheduled to take the wraps off the new model towards the end of next year. It’s expected to arrive in UK showrooms in 2010, with its Citroen counterpart following close behind.

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