Shouldn't it be called the 309?
Now that Peugeot has adopted a new badge strategy, the numbers on the back of their new cars will stay the same. Hence, Peugeot's new C-segment hatchback will still be called the 308 and this second-generation incarnation is due to make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
It conforms to a new family look, right?
That's right, my friend. The so-called "floating" front grille _ already used in the 508 and the 208 _ is the element that most distinguishes the new 308 from its predecessor. Also, note the crab claw-style rear lights which were first employed in the 208.
Built on Peugeot's (and Citroen's) new EMP2 platform, the 308 is billed as being 140kg lighter than the previous model and its overall length is given as 4.25m. Cabin- and boot-space are both said to have been improved.
Why is the tachometer inverted?
Hah! That's probably because Peugeot wanted to have a little fun with the 308's instrument display which is now positioned above _ rather in the conventional location, behind _ the steering wheel.
Another notable development in the 308's cockpit is the 9.7-inch touch-screen that replaces traditional switches.
All in all, Peugeot seems to be aiming to give the driver an optimum level of ergonomics.
What kind of engine and gearbox tech does the 308 get?
Peugeot hasn't divulged any information on that, as yet. The only thing the French manufacturer has mentioned is that the 308 will emit a mere 85g/km in its most economical form. With that figure in mind, we're probably talking about an engine that can do in the region of 25km per litre.
It'll probably be a small diesel engine with a manual gearbox, automatic stop/start and brake-energy regeneration.
Petrol variations should also be on offer, of course, although we're not too sure what kind of automatic transmission there will be, given Peugeot's conservative track record in the development field. The current 308 is being sold with a six-speed automatic and 1.6-litre petrol-turbo _ which is actually an advanced drivetrain when compared to those found in Thai-built hatchbacks like the Mazda 3.
Will Peugeot build it in Malaysia?
Now that the firm has made it clear that cars with names ending with the numeral 1 are meant for emerging markets and those ending in an 8 are for sophisticated markets, it is unlikely that the 308 will be bolted together in Malaysia (and then shipped to Thailand under the Afta scheme).
But that doesn't mean the 308 should be totally ruled out as a presence in Thai showrooms.
It could come here as a fancy import from France _ just like how it is currently doing, for an asking price of nearly 2 million baht apiece. In fact, the Volkswagen Golf is also doing the same in car showrooms around the country at much the same price level, thereby filling a very niche corner of the domestic market.
Expect the new 308 to arrive in Thailand early next year if, that is, a local agent considers it a suitably commercial proposition.