making the new 508 smaller creates a virtuous circle, which boosts efficiency


508 Fastback measures 4.75m long: that’s 8cm shorter than the outgoing 508, and it stands 6cm lower. But the wheelbase comes down by only a couple of centimetres, to claim more legroom than in an Audi A5 Sportback 


Being shorter makes the 508 more manoeuvreable, with a 1.5m tighter turning circle than its predecessor. Should be a blessing in European cities’ narrow streets. 


Blindingly obvious, but a smaller size equates to less mass. On average, this 508 generation (codenamed R8) weighs 70kg less than its predecessor. Every gramme saved helps mitigate fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


It may not look it, but the 508 is narrower at the front than at the rear. A smaller frontal area reduces wind resistance, and tapering the cabin after the passenger cell helps create a more aerodynamic boat-tail.


Peugeot offers three engines: a 1.6-litre turbo petrol, and 1.5- and 2.0-litre diesels. CO2 emissions are best-in-class: the 129bhp diesel automatic emits just 98g/km, while the equivalent entry-level petrol puffs out a measly 123g/km on 17-inch rims.


A new eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all engines except the 1.5-litre diesel. Tuned for efficiency, it also unlocks the potential of the 508’s driver aids, such as fully automated parking and stop-and-go cruise control.


The 508 is the first Peugeot to bond chassis sections together, as well as weld them. The result is a car more resistant to bending, which helps anchor the suspension and makes for more precise handling.

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A stiffer structure also helps keep out noise. The 508’s front subframe, which mounts the suspension, also isolates noise, as does 1mm thicker sideglass.