The Frenchman stands there quite long, quite wide and quite low, and impresses with his outstretched rear end, his glowing fangs, and the little winglets in front of the wheels. While the fangs are part of the standard equipment, the small wings are specifically reserved for the power plant among the 508 models: PSE – for Peugeot Sport Engineered. Likewise the various elements in kryptonite yellow. Of course, the 508 PSE will impress, but can it do so on the road?
Stately goals, small engine
Peugeot has decided to reduce the most powerful 508. The row-four-cylinder has to settle for just 1.6 liters of displacement, but it is amplified by two electric motors. One of them sits between the internal combustion engine and the transmission, the other on the rear axle also provides four-wheel drive. The electric part of the drive train is powered by an 11.5 kWh battery. The station wagon with the saber teeth thus has an impressive 265 kW (360 hp) and 520 Nm. Surprisingly, our measured values for the sprint were from 0 to 100 km / h above the factory specification of 5.2 seconds. With the accelerator pedal depressed, the hand on the tachometer shoots up, accompanied by a roaring engine, and stays there. Too bad it does not necessarily match the sporty image of the car.
The drive must of course handle a lot, because the station wagon weighs 1900 kilos. When the battery is empty, this weight naturally affects performance. But even when the battery is full, this mass is noticeable and the engine has to fight hard. The superb chassis, which accounts for a large part of the driving pleasure you can have in the 508 PSE, makes a positive impression. The low center of gravity and the wide track ensure a smooth driving dynamics and full grip.
The steering is less suitable for the sporty tuning of the vehicle. This could have been revised even more compared to the normal Peugeot 508. So she is tough and conveys little connection with the asphalt. The center position is too inaccurate and the steering behavior is unpredictable. On winding country roads, where a hot break like the 508 PSE could shine, it degrades the driving experience.
A comfortable cockpit
Since you also – or primarily – experience a car in the interior, the question arises whether the interior also fits the character of a PSE. Here, the station wagon can definitely score, even if the processing is not quite as perfect as with German products. But the appearance and feel of the materials are pleasant and harmoniously adapted to each other. Leather, Alcantara, fabrics, wood and piano finish sweeten the stay at the wheel. Not to mention the very comfortable seats. The rear seats leave a bit to be desired, the seat is quite firm, the ground clearance is only average, and the low seating position means that the knees are quite high. Adult residents feel cramped, which is also due to the scarce window area at the rear. The luggage compartment is not one of the largest at 530 liters, but with the rear seats folded down, there is still room for 1780 liters. The variability is quite limited due to the fixed seat.
The bottom line is that the Peugeot 508 PSE is a dynamic touring sedan that clearly stands out from the competition, especially in terms of looks. After all, this pleasure costs almost 70,000 francs. That is the price of originality.
Overall score 77/100
The 360 hp put pressure on and the gearbox works clean. The transitions between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor could be smoother.
The well-tuned suspension is one of the strengths of the 508 PSE.
the i-Cockpit does not quite match the sporty style and the rear seats are a bit cramped. But I like the choice of materials.
Numerous assistants (including a night vision camera) provide security.
The price is right: almost everything is included in the base price of 69,900 francs.
The Peugeot 508 PSE is an interesting alternative to the German competitors – with its extravagant appearance it will definitely attract attention. It is a pity that the drive is somewhat weak in character.
The technical data and our test data for this model can be found in the printed edition and in the e-newspaper of AUTOMOBIL REVUE.