Peugeot claims that its new diesel-electric hybrid 508 sedan will be the greenest large car in Europe. Peugeot said that the 508 hybrid will have CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer and will use only 3.8 liters per 100km (62 US mpg). When driving in full-electric mode, it will have zero emissions.
For now, the only vehicles that emit less than 100g/km of CO2 are smaller-sized cars such as the Toyota Prius and Auris gasoline-electric hybrids and diesel versions of the Volkswagen Polo and Smart ForTwo.
Variants of the 508 with gasoline and diesel engines will debut in October at the Paris Motor Show and will start selling at the start of 2011. Peugeot has yet to announce when the diesel hybrid, called the 508 HYbrid 4, is expected to go on sale.
The 508 replaces two Peugeot cars -- the 407 mid-sized car and the 607 large sedan that have not been selling well. UK-based market researcher JATO Dynamics said that last year, 407 sales in Europe fell by 45% to 36,718 units, while 607 sales dropped by 48.5% to 1,880 units.
Peugeot is hoping that the 508 will be able to compete against premium cars such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C class.
In an interview with Automotive News Europe last March at the Geneva auto show, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen brand director Jean-Marc Gales said that Peugeot wants to regain its share of the market that's currently dominated by German manufacturers. Peugeot said that it is relying on an exterior design it calls "French chic," a combination of elegance and timeless lines, to attract premium buyers.