The PSE badge is set to appear first on a range-topping performance version of the 508. Should the 508 PSE be a success, Imparato told Autocar the PSE formula could be applied “on the 3008 and other cars”, a comment that alludes to the desire to extend it to the 308.
Success will not be judged on sales, either, but instead on the reputation and acclaim the PSE models receive. To that end, the PSE project is as much about “transforming electric cars” and the perception of them, because Imparato sees “a big opportunity for a line-up of sporty cars” in this mould.
The GTi badge will not be used on the 308 or any other Peugeots apart from the 208. Even then, it might be limited to the UK only and be based on the fully electric version as part of the company’s plans to switch Peugeot Sport’s involvement in its models to electrified powertrains only.
The next 308 range will again include five-door hatchback and estate versions, with still no return for the likes of the 308 CC coupé-convertible seen in previous generations, due to the lack of profitability with such cars. “I love these cars but today there are three other topics first,” said Imparato, naming 5G connectivity and autonomous vehicle development alongside electrified models.
However, a crossover version of the 308 is a strong possibility for Peugeot. It has noted the success of the Mercedes-Benz GLA, effectively a raised version of the A-Class hatchback. In addition, fellow PSA brand DS is planning both hatchback and crossover versions of its own new A-Class/GLA rival, which is due later this year with a shared body-in-white. There’s enough of a gap between the 308 and larger 3008 SUV to make such a car a reality.
Updated petrol and diesel engines will continue to be offered alongside the plug-in hybrids. Peugeot is still committed to diesel and is even offering it in its new 208 supermini and 2008 crossover models at a time when many rivals are abandoning the fuel at this end of the market.