The Peugeot 308 is set to be the next plug-in Pug Down Under, though the range will touch down later than expected.
Peugeot has confirmed the new-generation 308 range will now arrive in the second half of 2022. The hatchback was previously confirmed for a first quarter launch.
“Due to the exceptional situation faced by the global automotive industry with the accumulation of the health crisis and a worldwide shortage of semiconductors, production of the new 308 is being ramped up gradually,” said a spokesperson for Peugeot Australia.
“Unfortunately, this has meant a slight delay in the launch of 308 in Australia, which will now be in H2, 2022.”
Government approval documents show the 308 range will be available with a 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine in Allure and GT Sport trims, and a 1.6-litre turbocharged plug-in hybrid petrol four.
They haven’t specified, however, whether the hatchback and wagon body styles will both be available in all three variants.
Local pricing and specifications have yet to be announced. Peugeot says a full outline of its launch plans will be released in the new year.
In Europe, there are two turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder and two turbocharged 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrains, but according to the approval documents we’re only receiving the more powerful of each.
The 1.2-litre produces 96kW of power, while the plug-in hybrid combines a 132kW petrol engine with an 81kW electric motor and 12.4kWh battery pack. Claimed electric range is 59km on the stricter WLTP cycle.
Both engines are mated with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
The Allure will ride on 17-inch alloy wheels, with the GT Sport and PHEV using 18-inch alloys.
The introduction of a plug-in hybrid 308 will give Peugeot a rare plug-in offering in the small car segment. Currently, only the Hyundai Ioniq offers a plug-in powertrain in Australia, with PHEV versions of the Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf restricted to other markets.
The redesigned 308 uses an evolution of the previous car’s EMP2 platform.
The hatchback has a 55mm longer wheelbase than before, most of which Peugeot says has been dedicated to providing more legroom for rear seat passengers. The wagon’s wheelbase is unchanged.
At 4.64m long and packing 608L of boot space with the rear seats in place (and 1634L with them folded), the 308 SW will go head-to-head with the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia wagons in Australia.
Boot space is 412L in the hatch, with a further 28L under the floor. There’s 1323L available with the rear seats folded flat.
Up front, the 308 follows closely in the footsteps of the new Peugeot 2008 with its latest i-Cockpit layout.
The dashboard is dominated by a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and the driver is faced with another customisable 10-inch display.
Beneath the central screen is a row of touch-based shortcut switches which can be customised by the driver. There are also piano-style toggles at the base of the centre console. Wireless phone charging and an array of USB-C ports all feature.
A full range of active safety assists will feature, including semi-autonomous lane change for the adaptive cruise system, long-range blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, as well as a new reversing camera and surround-view camera.
As you’d expect, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition, lane-keep assist, and auto high-beam also feature.
The introduction of a plug-in hybrid 308 will follow that of plug-in versions of the 3008 mid-sized SUV and 508 fastback in the first quarter of 2022.
It remains to be seen whether the 308 PHEV will have a similar price premium over its petrol counterpart to the 508 petrol and plug-in hybrids.
The 508 GT Fastback Plug-In Hybrid costs $19,500 more than its petrol counterpart, despite offering the same level of equipment.
The 3008 GT Sport Plug-In Hybrid also commands a significant premium, though it includes all-wheel drive which isn’t available on petrol 3008s.
When the next-generation 308 arrives, it’ll see Peugeot return to the small car segment after an absence of over a year.
Peugeot Australia was forced to cancel plans for an updated version of the previous-generation 308, which was set to arrive here in the second quarter of 2021.
It instead ran out existing stock – 17 vehicles – in the early part of this year.
The company blamed the semiconductor shortage, which had already led to the cancellation of plans to fit a digital instrument cluster to the model.
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