Peugeot 308: first look at svelte French hatch

The next-generation Peugeot 308 has been spied for the first time wearing full production panels ahead of the French small car's anticipated unveiling and launch in 2013.

The spy shots reveal a cleaner and sharper design for the new Peugeot 308, which is set to be longer and wider than the current model, giving it a sportier stance and creating a more spacious interior.

Although the finer styling details are obscured by the psychedelic camouflage, the new Peugeot 308 will take cues from the smaller Peugeot 208 city car and the recent SR1 and HX1 concepts – with the gaping mouth substituted for a thin, elegant grille that is flanked by purposeful, angular headlights.

The new model also scores tighter and more modern lines at the rear, with the side windows extending beyond the rear doors and the rounded tailgate contributing to a more conventional hatchback profile.

The new Peugeot 308 will share its platform with the Citroen C4 and DS4, and will source its turbocharged petrol and diesel engines from those models as well as the 208. PSA’s HYbrid4 diesel-hybrid powertrain will also be offered for the first time in the upcoming 308.

Unlike previous generations of Peugeot’s small car whose names advanced sequentially (306, 307, 308), the manufacturer confirmed in May that it was freezing its naming structure at 308 for the new model.

The ‘08’ suffix will be applied to all of Peugeot’s upmarket offerings, while affordable, entry-level cars will adopt the ‘01’ arrangement.