All-new Peugeot 508 storms into Middle East

The French carmaker introduced its latest offering in a blaze of smoke and lights at Yas Mall

An all-new Peugeot 508 has arrived in the Middle East, and the manufacturer reckons it’s a product that’s going to give the region’s executive saloon market a serious rattle.

The redesign, which was first seen at the Geneva Motor Show last year and is finally present in UAE showrooms, was unveiled from behind a closed curtain amid a flood of dry ice and laser lighting at the company’s Concept Store in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall.

And first impressions from many of those present, as the smoke cleared and the strobing calmed down, were that it was indeed a departure from previous models.

Peugeot says the designers of the new 508 wanted to move away from a conventional boot-lid, four-door shape and give it a five-door fastback feel. It has a sleeker shape with a distinctive, downward sloping front-light streak, and, under that new bonnet is the company’s PureTech turbo engine.

Inside, what Peugeot refers to as its ‘i-Cockpit’, includes a high-definition touchscreen, which handles the usual internal features like radio and air-conditioning and a heads-up display unit. The 508 also has a number of driver aids, including lane positioning assist, which is the first of its kind in any Peugeot. There are three levels of trim available – beginning with Active, rising to Allure and topping off at GT Line.

The car falls into what those in the jam-jar trade call the D-segment. Essentially, this is what most people would think of as a large, family car, usually a saloon.

If reports are accurate, the manufacturer is planning a range of innovative designs over the next few years, which it plans to use to significantly increase its presence in the Middle East.

Peugeot’s parent company, Groupe PSA, which is Europe’s second largest car manufacturer, claimed last year it was putting plans in place for its entire range to be electrified by 2025. The French firm cited the pioneering work being carried out in the Gulf region, with regard to making both private and public transport more eco-friendly, as an influence.

Meanwhile, the 508 is here, and the company is keen for it to cause a reaction.

Samir Cherfan, Groupe PSA’s regional sales and marketing senior vice president, said: “This car will shake up the D-segment.

“With the 508, our designers and engineers raised the bar in terms of refinement and use of premium materials and the very latest technology. We have a radical, differentiated car, which is now a genuine challenger against rival premium brands in the segment.”

The 508’s starting price is Dh95,000, rising to Dh130,000.