Cocooned in an i-Cockpit: The wraparound dashboard of the Peugeot 508.

With its sharp appears to be like and muscular street stance, the Peugeot 508 additional distinguishes itself with a finely usual radiator grill full with chrome-plated chequerboard. The vertical visible signature of the blade-like LED daytime working lights additionally catches the attention, framing the automotive’s entrance finish.  Persevering with just-auto/AICs’s evaluation of inside design and expertise traits, we slip inside to see how its slinky silhouette compares with l’intérieur.

Within the European market, the normal D-segment saloon has been stagnant for a variety of years. Beneath strain from a variety of buyer preferences and designs, particularly from the SUV market, the massive saloon now solely finds favour by way of providing wider selection and adopting a extra pronounced identification. Ford’s current determination to part out Mondeo mannequin manufacturing in early 2022, with no direct alternative in prospect, additional displays adjustments within the make-up of the European passenger automotive market.

It was in opposition to this backdrop that Peugeot wished to maneuver away from the traditional boot-lid, four-door form and in the direction of a five-door fastback coupé-saloon.

Enter stage door left, the second-generation Peugeot 508 saloon.  The primary variations, states the French carmaker, its construction is extra compact and peak lowered in comparison with the earlier mannequin. Pierre-Paul Mattei, design director for the 508, says that to attain such proportions when the size had been lowered by eight centimetres in comparison with the earlier technology, his workforce moved the glazing assist again to present the automotive a bigger bonnet. Then there’s the frameless-door expertise, which enabled them to scale back the car’s peak in relation to the automotive’s rivals within the section. The automotive’s peak is 6 cm decrease than the earlier mannequin.

Inside story

The big saloon cabin is cloaked in a wealthy mixture of supplies, together with full-grain leather-based, (on the GT model) touches of brushed chrome, massive expanses of carbon or fabric ornament and loads of hi-tech gear. Its swept again windscreen blends right into a sharply raked roofline. The powered and heated driver and entrance passenger seats incorporate a therapeutic massage operate.

Different powered consolation and comfort options embody the tailgate, operated through a button on the sprint, contained in the boot lid or key fob. The upmarket textiles cowl the door-card inserts, headliner, windscreen pillars and dashboard inlay. A central entrance armrest with butterfly-wing opening and illuminated storage compartment is tucked behind the centre console. There are additionally powered and heated wing mirrors, entrance windscreen wipers with ‘magic wash’ cleansing system, rear centre console air flow system, powered boot lid, and panoramic roof.

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Head room within the again is considerably restricted because of the sloping roof line. Additional again, the boot area offers a capability of 487 litres with the 60/40 again seats within the upright place; 1,537 litres with rear seats folded flat. Persevering with the area theme, cubby holes are additionally broad, deep and plentiful. The 2 entrance door pockets are flock-lined to cease free objects from rattling round.

i-Cockpit

The 508 is supplied with the carmaker’s i-Cockpit. Making its first look on the 208, it has been rolled out on a variety of different fashions, together with the 308, 2008, 3008 and 5008.

The i-Cockpit contains 4 components: a small steering wheel, head-up instrumentation, excessive centre console and touchscreen. And all of it makes excellent sense, offering an insulated and cocooned really feel to the cockpit.

The small-diameter steering wheel has been redesigned with two flats to make it simpler to grip and supply the motive force with improved visibility and legroom. When you can simply see the instrument cluster over the steering wheel – fairly than peering by way of it – it does require just a little seat adjustment. It additionally requires much less steering effort when parking and manoeuvring round corners on the town.

The reconfigurable 12.3-inch instrument cluster – positioned immediately within the driver’s line of sight and above the sports activities steering wheel – provides 5 totally different show modes, managed from a button on the steering wheel. The read-outs are clear and crisp.

Positioned on the raised centre console is an eight-inch tablet-style touchscreen that’s geared up with capacitive expertise and angled towards the motive force. The touchscreen shows the standard car data – similar to journey knowledge and gas financial system – and pictures from the rearview parking digital camera.

Beneath the touchscreen is a row of six chrome-plated toggle piano keys to manage radio, HVAC (subsequently utilizing cabin temperature sliders on the touchscreen), sat-nav, car parameters and telephone and cell purposes.

One other button – ‘Amplify’ – on the centre console can range the brightness of the ambient lighting and the color of the screens, regulate the sound settings, seat therapeutic massage operate and perfume diffuser.

As well as, two setting ambiances are provided, particularly an atmospheric ‘Enhance’ targeted on an energised driving expertise and ‘Calm down’ for a extra tranquil temper. The Enhance theme is aimed toward a dynamic driving fashion whereas the Calm down is for gentler driving. Three fragrances are additionally on provide, particularly the ‘Cosmic Cuir’ (described by the automaker as “a vibrant and sensual perfume, and a real olfactive signature of the model”); ‘Aerodrive’: default setting for the ‘Enhance’; and ‘Concord Wooden’: default setting for the ‘Calm down’.

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On the connectivity entrance, all variations provide telephone mirroring, smartphone recharging pad and 3D navigation.

Voice management is operated through a button on the steering wheel. Voice instructions are fairly restricted however appeared to work effectively, all issues thought-about. One other button on the sprint opens and closes the powered liftgate. This will also be operated by waving your foot beneath the rear bumper. There isn’t any scarcity of USB sockets to energy up cell gadgets (two within the entrance and two within the again).

Driver help

The 508 comes geared up with a variety of superior driver help system (ADAS) applied sciences as commonplace, together with: energetic lane departure warning; driver consideration warning; computerized adaptive headlamp main-beam; velocity restrict signal recognition and suggestion; adaptive cruise management with cease operate (computerized gearboxes) and energetic blind-spot monitoring.  For manoeuvring round cities and cities, Visio Park (360° all-around imaginative and prescient) and Park Help do the job.

Evening imaginative and prescient

It isn’t typically that we come throughout automobiles with night time imaginative and prescient. So it was a nice shock to see that the 508 has this on provide (for an additional £1,300).

Statistics point out that round 30 per cent of extreme street accidents happen at night time, though lower than 30 per cent of all journeys are undertaken throughout night time time. Evening imaginative and prescient programs allow the motive force to see objects past the vary of the headlights at night time or in poor visibility circumstances.

Evening imaginative and prescient will help enhance driving security by enhancing the motive force’s potential to detect probably harmful conditions past the vary of the headlamps. Throughout night-time driving, when a disproportionate variety of collisions happen, sure conditions similar to an individual altering a tyre on the facet of the street, or an animal within the roadway, will not be seen with the bare eye till it’s too late.

The 508 makes use of an infrared digital camera to detect folks or animals in entrance of the car at night time or in low-visibility circumstances. The system can detect objects inside a 250 metre vary, past the headlights’ scope and current on a head-up show unit.

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Lightweighting

Explaining the technical challenges confronted in designing the automotive, Pascal Delabarre, Challenge Director for the 508, stated: “When it comes to metallic becoming, we launched a way for welding physique elements that was strengthened with structural adhesive. Sure premium carmakers use this. The strategy bolstered the physique’s rigidity and ensured higher acoustic insulation. We additionally needed to systematically shed pointless weight. By taking this strategy, we removed 70 kilos from the automotive. This was particularly difficult because of the heaviness of sure gear, such because the tailgate motor and the frameless doorways. This required radical options, for instance scorching metallic stamping and producing the boot and entrance wings in aluminium and the tailgate in thermoplastic.”

To make sure good acoustic insulation with frameless doorways, the carmaker labored carefully with its suppliers. “From the outset of the mission, we selected to work with the very best suppliers who actually grasp their expertise,” added Delabarre. “For instance, SaarGummi for the seals and Inteva [Products] for the window management. These suppliers provide actual experience, recognised by German premium automakers. Subsequent, by way of the strengthened physique construction, we ensured higher rigidity and due to this fact fewer restrictions on the doorways and glazing. Lastly, we thickened the glazing by 1 mm in relation to plain thickness.  Completely all these options might be discovered, for instance, on an Audi A5 Sportback.” 

On the street

Out and about in a pearlescent black GT hybrid this week, the journey felt easy and forgiving alongside nation roads due to its energetic suspension system. This enticing and entertaining automotive additionally felt snug and relaxed with few shortcomings. Its plush, removed from boring, inside is undeniably effectively packaged and spacious with some helpful infotainment and connectivity options. The i-Cockpit management structure is agreeable on the attention whereas the infotainment shortcut piano keys make navigating by way of the varied touchscreen menus really feel like a breeze. It is usually quiet due to some particular consideration to acoustic insulation and glazing. The hybrid 508 was launched within the second quarter of 2019. It’s assembled on the carmaker’s Mulhouse plant in France, whereas the French websites of Trémery and Douvrin present the powertrain. Rivals government fashions embody the Vauxhall Insignia and VW Arteon.