Linda Jackson, CEO of Peugeot, says that life is better with allure. The newly released 408 Fastback for the EU market is just that. We reported earlier on the 408 sedan that was released in China. That was a facelifted 308 but was obviously inspired in and out by this. Peugeot’s lady boss wasn’t kidding when she said that the new 408 is the perfect expression of the brand’s philosophy and inventiveness.
Compared to its Chinese counterpart, the new 408 fastback shines brighter. With bolder lines and a more curvaceous shape, the exterior is more intimidating than the sedan. You can literally see that they worked on the aerodynamics with the roof sweeping straight to the rear. This new model is 4,687 millimeters long, 1,859 millimeters wide, and 1,478 millimeters tall. With the wheelbase at 2,787 millimeters, the new 408 is closely similar to the 308 wagon’s dimensions.
The claw-like DRLs are still there while the headlights have become slimmer. The lights blend into the massive grille giving the car lion-like features. With the 408 badge, a sizable air vent, and a bigger emblem in the middle, the front of the car reminds us of a lion on the prowl.
The futuristic look of the rear with its three sloping LEDs taillights housed in a single black stripe complements the massive supercar-like bumper. A built-in spoiler and a bending horizontal line complete the wide-body look. The fastback can be fitted with 20-inch wheels on the higher-end trim models.
EU customers will have three choices when it comes to the powertrain of the 408. The first two will be plug-in hybrids using a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. Both are 4WD and will be mated to an 8-speed transmission. An electric motor producing 109 PS (81 kW) is part of both packages. One will be tuned to 150 PS and the other to 180 PS. Combined with the electric motor, the lower variant will have a total system output of 180 PS and 360 Nm of torque while the more powerful variant will have 225 hp but the same level of torque.
There will also be an entry-level variant that sports a small three-cylinder 1.2-liter gas engine offering 130 hp and 230 Nm. This will be a 2WD with power in the front wheels but will still have an 8-speed transmission. There are no plans for a diesel offering so far but a fully electric model may be in the works.
Like most Peugeots today, the 408 comes with the now familiar i-Cockpit system. This innovative It does away with the typical gear shift lever as it now comes with a button-style gear selector. The push-start button is also near the gear cluster for ease of operation. A fully digital gauge, along with infotainment screens shows vital information to the driver. Last but not least is the brand's signature D-cut steering wheel.
Finishing up the interior is the mix of leather and what appears to be Alcantara fabric on the seats and inner doors. With a sleeker profile, the trunk will only have 536 liters of space. With the rear seats folded though, that space balloons to 1,611 liters.
A customized Focal sound system with a total of 10 speakers, including the subwoofer, comes as standard of the new 408. Six cameras and nine radars give serve as the car's extra pair of eyes. With it, intelligent driver aids like adaptive cruise control, night vision, long-range blindspot monitoring, and rear traffic alerts give customers peace of mind and safety.
The new 408 is scheduled to hit the EU market in early 2023 and will be assembled in the Mulhouse plant in France. The French company also plans to sell this fastback in China with local production done at their Chengdu factory.