Peugeot 308 to get EV and MHEV options but hot hatch unlikely

29. March 2021 - autocar

Peugeot 308 to get EV and MHEV options but hot hatch unlikely

Peugeot product boss confirms plans for an e-308 but is "not that confident" about a hot 308 PSE

Peugeot will launch mild-hybrid and electric versions of its new 308 but is unlikely to introduce a hot Peugeot Sport Engineered range-topper.

Product boss Jérôme Micheron told Autocar that the new family hatchback will be a "key player" in Peugeot's planned shift upmarket and that the multi-powertrain offering - currently comprising a pair of plug-in hybrids alongside pure petrols and diesels - will help to broaden its appeal and paves the way for further electrification.

"We want to give the customer the power of choice, because the market is evolving so fast but we want to have the right answers," he explained. "We're launching the new 308 with petrol and diesel, we've already decided a roadmap in which we will launch MHEV and we also have a plan for an EV offer on the 308."

"We would rely on the existing EMP2 [platform for the electric 308], but in the Stellantis group we have several options to create electrification."

The EMP2 platform is compatible with pure-ICE, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains and has already been used in extended form for electric versions of the Peugeot Traveller, Citroën Spacetourer and Vauxhall Vivaro Life MPVs.

The electric 308 would therefore likely use the 134bhp set-up employed by those models, with a 50kWh battery offering upwards of 150 miles per charge and capable of charging at rates of up to 100kW.

Micheron suggested that Peugeot will subsequently offer more powerful electric models using the new eVMP architecture, which is designed primarily for SUVs and will be launched in 2023.

However, the possibility of a 300bhp-plus plug-in hybrid version of the 308 to join the hot 508 in the new PSE line is now unlikely, due to low sales forecasts and emissions regulations.

"It's still under assessment, but the market has been shrinking very significantly," explained Micheron. "We're considering some options for PSE products, but today we don't see that much volume for a very powerful engine, and when you look at CO2 regulations and limitations, we're not sure that's the right foundation for the performance vehicle."

"There's also the question of a hybrid and the weight of the vehicle, so we're not that confident today about bringing a 308 PSE to market."

As reported by Autocar, the 308 PSE was set to adopt the same four-wheel-drive petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrain used by the top-rung version of its 3008 SUV sibling.

Micheron did, however, confirm plans for a second PSE-badged car in place of the 308.

"Neo-performance brings new performance with a very low level of CO2 emissions and also the right level of pleasure for driving," he said. "So this is part of our strategy, and we're assessing another product in PSE.

"We're not keen to discuss future products, but we will bring to the market one product which fits with the CO2, driving pleasure and performance."

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