2014 PEUGEOT 308
Destined for an Australian debut in 2014, the 308 will take on Volkswagen's all-new Golf - the 2013 World Car of the Year - along with the Ford Focus, Toyota's top-selling Corolla and, by then, an all-new Mazda3.
Yes, the new 308 has its work cut out for it.
Peugeot is keeping most of the new 308's details under its hat, although it is known that the hatch rides on the same EMP2 platform that underpins the new Citroen C4 Picasso.
Signalling PSA peugeot Citroen's drive to join the modular platform crowd, the EMP2 architecture replaces the older PF2 and PF3 platforms and was developed at a cost of around AU$815 million.
Mechanical details won't be revealed until the new 308's Frankfurt debut, but Peugeot says the EMP2 platform's lightweight construction will make a significant impact on both fuel consumption and driving feel.
In all, Peugeot says it has cut an average of 140kg in weight from the new 308, compared to the outgoing model.
The 2014 308 measures 4.25m long - identical to the new Golf, which is also longer than its predecessor - and 1.46 metres tall.
Rear storage capacity is listed at 470 litres below the shelf, putting the new 308 at the more capacious end of the segment.
Among the new 308's standout design features are the carmaker's small new chrome-framed grille design, sharpened LED-rich headlights, a more angular profile and arrow-like tail-lights.
Importantly for Peugeot, the new 308 - the first to wear the same name as its predecessor - was designed to represent a more upmarket push for the brand.
"The initial design brief of the New 308 had the highest levels of quality at its core. This ambition has guided the designers and engineers from the very start of the project," the company says.
"Every element, both inside and outside, has been developed and refined with exceptional attention to detail. The choice of high quality interior materials and the satin chrome or gloss black detailing add to the feeling of sophistication and maturity in the car's design and assembly."
For now, local 'Pug' fans will need to wait until next year to discover if Peugeot has fulfilled its new quality-focused ambitions.
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