When it comes to sports sedans, Peugeot isn't exactly the first brand that comes to mind. Of course, that isn't stopping the French automaker from trying to convince that they can build one. They have just introduced the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered or simply 508 PSE. It's gunning for the BMW M340i and Mercedes-AMG C43.

But Peugeot isn't fighting the BMW and Mercedes-Benz with a big six-cylinder engine. Instead, their M and AMG fighter will have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. So how will Peugeot match the boosted sixes from its German rivals? By giving it heaps of electric assistance.

2020 Peugeot 508 PSE can outdrag BMW M340i, AMG C43 image

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 197 PS by itself. However, an electric motor at the front provides another 110 PS. Not content with that, Peugeot put in another electric motor at the rear axle of the humble sedan, providing another 200 PS. As it is aided by electric power, the total output isn't as simple as adding them all up. However, Peugeot themselves say that this 508 PSE has a power in the region of 400 PS.

Peugeot claims the 508 PSE can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 4.3 seconds. That makes it quicker by one-tenth compared to the M340i (4.4 seconds) and four-tenths versus the C43 (4.7 seconds). Top speed, on the other hand, is limited to 250 km/h. The car can also be driven up to 50 kilometers on pure battery power.

2020 Peugeot 508 PSE can outdrag BMW M340i, AMG C43 image

On the outside, the high-performance sedan comes with chunkier fenders which likely means the suspension has been beefed up as well. It also comes with a few aerodynamic enhancements such as a front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, all of which come with winglets at the corners. Larger, wider wheel and tire combinations are needed to house the uprated and upgraded brakes.

While it isn't likely that the 508 PSE will ever be sold outside of Europe, it's interesting to see how Peugeot is extracting performance for hybrid powertrains. Perhaps we'll see even more performance sedans and hatchbacks in the future packing this sort of technology.