Expensive sports hybrid: Peugeot 508 PSE – the lion with kryptonite

Expensive sports hybrid
Peugeot 508 PSE – the lion with kryptonite

The new Peugeot 508 with the suffix PSE is currently the strongest and most expensive predator in the Parisian pack. New-fangled electricity is to blame. It remains to be seen whether that will ultimately be enough to boost the Frenchman’s desirability.

The big lion in the form of the 508 in Germany has yet to ride a real wave of success. Perhaps that will change when Peugeot launches its new flagship as a pioneer for the brand’s particularly sporty models. The 508 PSE is powered by a hybrid system consisting of a 1.6-liter petrol engine and two electric motors, and each time the battery is charged, it delivers a system output of 360 hp to all four wheels. The purely electric range is 42 kilometers according to the new WLTP standard. The part-time Stromer is available as a sedan and station wagon, which at a price of just under 68,000 euros is not only the most expensive model from the Löwen brand at the moment, but is also at the top of the competitors.

(Photo: Peugeot)

Since powerful petrol engines everywhere lack large displacement engines, the almost 4.80 meter long Nobel Peugeot has to make do with a 1.6 liter four-cylinder. The previous top version, in combination with electric motor and rechargeable battery, still put 225 hp on the road. Decent, but probably not enough to end up on the shopping list of the small but affluent circle of customers who want more performance. The new Peugeot 508 PSE was now supposed to correct that. For Germany boss Haico van der Luyt, “a new era of sports models begins at Peugeot”.

PSE as quality stamp à la AMG

PSE stands for “Peugeot Sport Engineered”, i.e. for production cars that have been dressed up in the factory’s own gym. Let’s start with the 508 PSE, more power bolts to follow. Goodbye GTi or GT, if you’re looking for power at Peugeot, you’ll have to get used to the PSE. This can be compared to the AMG brand at Mercedes, M at BMW or “Audi Sport”. Externally recognizable by a symbol that should remind you of extended large cat claws, always in the signal color “yellow” and distributed in many places around the car. “Kryptonite” is what the Peugeot designers call the character, which is considered magical in similar circles and which comic book fans know from, for example, “Superman” stories. However, it is precisely this extraterrestrial substance that robs the hero of his power. It doesn’t matter, in the end it’s a marketing gimmick to finally give the lion king visible claws and come into focus on the bonnet, on the rear end, on the air intake or on the steering wheel.


(Photo: Peugeot)

Before the first ride with PSE, a look at the data sheet; The already known hybrid 508 got a third power source, another electric motor on the rear axle. This not only makes the test station wagon a four-wheel drive, but also increases the overall package to the aforementioned 360 hp. The torque is also promising: with 520 Newton metres, the 508 enters areas where otherwise strong diesel engines frolic. Sweets for future lion tamers. Since the 11.5 kWh battery provides a pure electric range of 42 to 50 kilometers, depending on the measurement method, the Peugeot can be decorated with an “E” mark and qualify for government subsidies.

Emission-free with velvet tips

Anyone who relies on velvet paws instead of extended claws can really be locally emission-free on short trips. However, with the usual driving style in such a power model, the green claim quickly becomes a fig leaf. The display of the electric range becomes a quick countdown on the left lane of the highway. No wonder plug-in hybrids are so controversial among their green critics. After all, the charging of the battery in the Peugeot while driving can be regulated in such a way that, if desired, you have enough juice available for the last few kilometers in an environmental zone.


The bottom line is that the Peugeot 508 SW PSE is quite expensive at 67,940 euros.

(Photo: Peugeot)

So the Peugeot 508 PSE remains primarily what it should be bought for: a sporty four-wheel drive model that is suitable for everyday use. Above all as a station wagon with a loading volume of up to 1780 litres, as a comfortable family sedan with Sprinter quality or as a company car for the self-employed. In addition, proper standard equipment, pleasant materials and modern online networks. But in the end, the bottom line is the proud price of 67,940 euros for the station wagon. If it’s not the actual kryptonite.

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