Peugeot 508 PSE refresh delivers Le Mans tech

Not enough stylish fast wagons to choose from? Peugeot to the rescue

By Cam Tait / Friday, 24 February 2023 / Loading comments

Meet the new face of the Peugeot 508. The striking saloon and estate have been given a refresh for 2023 both in the looks and trim department, ditching all the old model variants that baffled anyone attempting to spec a car on the online configurator. Happily, the vaguely hot and very definitely good-looking Peugeot Sport Engineered hybrid still forms part of the line-up.

The styling tweaks now bring the 508 range in line with Peugeot’s new design language, first seen on the 308 hatchback and later on its SUV range. For the 508, that means the front end has been reworked to incorporate a wider, deeper grille that merges seamlessly into the bumper. That’s paired up with a new matrix LED signature, with three vertical light strips replacing the single beam on the old model. The fluorescent yellow (or is it lime green?) bits on the PSE have been toned down a touch, but those signature flicks on skirts are back for a little flair.

Here’s where it gets really interesting; Peugeot has managed to lift the energy management system from its 9X8 Le Mans racer, which has so far only competed in a handful of WEC rounds, and transfer it into its flagship saloon and SW. We’ll have to wait and see if that has a noticeable impact on real-world performance, but consider our attention piqued. Power itself remains unchanged, however, with the PSE featuring the same 1.6-litre petrol engine and a brace of electric motors for a combined output of 360hp. Other powertrains include a new 180hp petrol, plus the returning mix of 225hp and 130hp petrols, and a 130hp diesel option. Those are spread across a slimmed-down trim line-up of just three models, comprising the Allure, GT and PSE range-topper.

Inside, the company says there’s “a clear move upmarket” with the 508’s refreshed interior thanks to the use of higher quality materials and better tech. This includes new textile and Alcantara trims on Allure and GT models, with a couple of Nappa leather options available if you want to feel really fancy. Meanwhile, the dashboard and centre console have been redesigned, highlighted by a 10-inch panel with new infotainment software and a 12-inch i-Cockpit virtual driver’s display. And love it or loathe it, Peugeot’s dinky steering wheel is standard fit on all models.

The company’s marketing chief, Phil York, said: “Peugeot’s history is inextricably linked with motorsport, and our involvement in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) with the Peugeot 9X8 is proof of this. It is clear that the rules of the game have changed: Electrification, including in the world of racing, has become a symbol of modernity, performance and efficiency. The new 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered builds on these achievements, while modernising its design, its badge and its infotainment system.”

Hopefully, for Peugeot’s sake, the changes will help lift 508 PSE sales. HowManyLeft puts the total number of PSE sales at just over 100 models in the UK, which is a shame given that it’s actually quite fast and surprisingly engaging. That’s probably down to the near £55,000 price tag, which is only likely to increase for the 2023 model. Let’s hope it’s a hit when sales kick off in the summer, because the world’s a better place when fast, quirky Peugeots are in it.

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