Sunday, March 7th, 2021
Expensive sports hybrid
Peugeot 508 PSE – the lion with kryptonite
The big lion in the form of the 508 has not ridden on a real wave of success in Germany to this day. Perhaps that will change when Peugeot brings its new flagship as a pioneer for the brand’s particularly sporty models. The 508 PSE is powered by a hybrid system made up of a 1.6-liter petrol engine and two electric motors and, when the battery is charged, delivers a system output of 360 hp to all four wheels. According to the new WLTP standard, the all-electric range is 42 kilometers. The part-time Stromer is available as a sedan and station wagon, which, with a price of almost 68,000 euros, is not only the most expensive model from the Löwen brand at the moment, but also ranks right at the top with a view to the competition.
Since powerful petrol engines do without large-displacement engines everywhere, the almost 4.80 meter long noble Peugeot also has to be content with a 1.6 liter four-cylinder. The previous top version, in combination with an electric motor and rechargeable battery, still puts 225 hp on the road. Neat, but probably not enough to end up on the shopping list in a small but wealthy group of customers who want more performance. That is what the new Peugeot 508 PSE should do now. For Germany boss Haico van der Luyt, “a new era of sports models at Peugeot” begins.
PSE to the Gütesigel to the AMG
PSE stands for “Peugeot Sport Engineered”, in other words for series cars that have been prepared in the company’s own Mucki-Bude. It starts with that same 508 PSE, further power bolts are to follow. Bye GTi or GT, anyone who focuses on power at Peugeot has to get used to PSE. This is comparable to the AMG seal of approval from Mercedes, the M from BMW or “Audi Sport”. Outwardly recognizable by a symbol, which is supposed to remind of extended big cat claws, always in the signal color “yellow” and distributed in many places around the car. “Kryptonite” is what the Peugeot designers call this symbol, which is considered magical in the relevant circles and which comic fans know from “Superman” stories, for example. However, it is precisely this extraterrestrial substance that robs the hero of his strength. Regardless, in the end it is a marketing gag that should finally give the Lion King visible claws and move into focus on the bonnet, rear, air intakes or on the steering wheel.
Before the first tour with the PSE, take a look at the data sheet. The already known hybrid 508 got a third drive source, another electric motor on the rear axle. Not only does it turn the test station wagon into an all-wheel drive, it also increases the overall package to the already mentioned 360 hp. The pulling power is also promising: with 520 Newton meters, the 508 reaches areas where otherwise powerful diesels can let off steam. The candy for future lion tamers. Since the 11.5 kWh battery is sufficient for a purely electrical distance of 42 to 50 kilometers, depending on the measurement method, the Peugeot can be adorned with an “E” mark and qualifies for state funding.
Emission-free with velvet paws
If you rely on velvet paws instead of extended claws, you can really travel locally emission-free on the short haul. With the usual driving style in such a power model, however, the green claim quickly becomes a fig leaf. The display of the electric range becomes a rapid countdown in the left lane of the motorway. No wonder the plug-in hybrids are so controversial among their green critics. After all, the charging of the battery in the Peugeot can be regulated while driving so that, if desired, enough juice is available for the last few kilometers in an environmental zone.
So the Peugeot 508 PSE remains primarily what it will be bought for: a sporty all-wheel-drive model that is suitable for everyday use. Above all as a station wagon with a load volume of up to 1780 liters, as a comfortable family sedan with Sprinter quality or as a company car for the self-employed. In addition, proper standard equipment, pleasant materials and modern online networking. But in the end, the bottom line is the proud price of 67,940 euros for the station wagon. If that’s not the actual kryptonite.