Peugeot 508 PSE test: fastest street Peugeot ever beats Porsche Taycan

What stands out about the Peugeot 508 PSE?

The ordinary Peugeot 508 is no wallflower. Thanks to the involvement of Peugeot Sport, the 508 PSE (Peugeot Sport Engineered) goes a step further. With bolder bumpers, 20-inch wheels, carbon winglets on the lower corners of the body and various neon green accents inside and out. These accents are partly in the form of three parallel lines, which symbolize the claw prints of the Peugeot lion. You can also see them in the special PSE grille.

Peugeot Sport engineers provided the 508 PSE with roughly the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as the 300 hp Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 300 and the Opel Grandland-X Hybrid 4×4.

This means that the 508 PSE also combines a 200 hp 1.6-liter petrol engine with two electric motors, four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Only a few things have changed in the software. As a result, more electrical power is available at higher speeds. This results in a system power of 360 hp and a torque of 520 Nm. Provided the driving mode switch is in the sport position.

What is good about the Peugeot 508 PSE?

Because the 508 PSE combines sporty performance with low CO2 emissions (46, Peugeot speaks of ‘neo-performance’. In figures: a theoretical fuel consumption of 2.03 l / 100 km (1 in 49.3), and then still a sprint from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 250 km / h, making the plug-in hybrid 508 PSE a car like the Porsche Taycan RWD (0-100 in 5.4 s, top 230 km / h)! Still, the 100 sprint is not very sensational. Instead of a merciless kick in your back, it feels more like an encouraging push. km / h in 3 seconds) and cornering.

The steering is not extremely direct or sensitive, yet the car gives you a lot of confidence. It hardly leans and is capable of very high cornering speeds. The significantly increased track width, the lowered chassis with thicker anti-roll bars and adaptive shock absorbers do their job convincingly. As the corners get tighter, you can feel that the serious mass (1850 kg) pushes through. But the ESP and four-wheel drive are calling the threatening butt back to order. The rubber of the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires then claws into the asphalt even more firmly. This way you stay neatly on the road and you are assigned ‘no function elsewhere’ in the ditch.

The flat black ‘rubber bands’ around the sleek 20-inch alloy make the worst fear, but the sticky handling of the 508 PSE is not accompanied by a masochistic suspension comfort. Don’t expect a flying carpet experience, but you don’t have to be afraid of dying fillings and walking kidneys either. If the comfort is nevertheless too firm for you, the standard massage chairs will protect you from aches and pains.

What could be better about the Peugeot 508 PSE?

With a car that has to guard the sporty heritage of the Peugeot 405 Mi16 and T16, it is a bit disappointing that you cannot fully take the gearshifts into your own hands. You can play with the flippers on the steering column, but the electrified eight-speed automatic transmission will soon take over again. And while we’re on the subject of the transmission, the shift moments sometimes feel a bit messy, especially from one to two.

We are not in favor of electronic fake sounds, but Peugeot could have liked the sound experience of the 508 PSE a bit tweaking. Unlike some other sporty cars, the two tailpipes of the exhaust are not faked. There could have been quite a few butterfly valves to give the somewhat cowardly sounding four-cylinder an acoustic upgrade.

When will the Peugeot 508 PSE come and what is the price?

The good news is that the Peugeot 508 PSE will soon be at the dealer, and that it is very well equipped. A premium sound system from Focal, full LED lighting with night vision, electrically adjustable massage seats, a navigation system and a wireless phone charger are all standard.

You can order the 508 PSE in all colors of the rainbow, but from a black and white film. According to Peugeot, the neon green PSE accents are only good in combination with gray (no extra charge), black (€ 900) or pearl white (€ 1050). The only extras you can order are a panoramic roof (€ 1300) or a 7.4 kW on-board charger (€ 200). With the latter you can speed up the charging process of the battery pack considerably.

And now for the bad news: the Peugeot 508 PSE costs € 70,700 as a five-door sedan and € 72,300 as a SW. That is hefty. Especially when you compare it with a plug-in hybrid competitor like the Volvo S / V60 T8 Recharge. With 390 hp, the Swede is available from € 54,995 and as a 405 hp Polestar Engineered, the S60 costs ‘only’ € 63,995. But the fully electric Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD (440 hp, € 57,995) is also a serious competitor.

What do I think of the Peugeot 508 PSE?

I already thought the Peugeot 508 was the most beautiful mid-sized car at the moment, and with the arrival of the PSE it has become even more desirable. Fortunately, Peugeot has dispensed with huge skirts and wings, leaving the design untouched. The interior is also only discreetly adapted. No exaggerated fake carbon or an excess of plasticized aluminum, but matt wood, combined with a beautiful seat cover of leather, fabric and Alcantara. And oh yes: a neon green accent here and there.

Very economical driving is possible and when only the electric motors are on (electric range 42 km), this is silent. The most fun drives the 508 PSE, however, in sport mode. Only then can you put the official consumption and range figures out of your mind. If I were in the market for a car in this class, I would certainly consider ‘the fastest street Peugeot ever’ for emotional reasons. For a bit. Because I look at the value for money, then the Peugeot 508 PSE is just a bridge too far.

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