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The new Peugeot 308 has been unveiled by the French car maker, though Australian customers have another year to wait before they can buy it.

Peugeot’s new-generation small car retains the 308 rather than moving to 309 as part of a revised model-naming strategy it announced in 2012. The car will debut at September’s Frankfurt motor show before reaching Australian in mid 2014.

308 Mark II is a more stylistically accomplished hatchback than its gaping-mouthed predecessor and reinforces Peugeot’s bid to move its brand further upmarket.

2013 Peugeot 308 front

A smaller grille nestles between slimline LED headlights that will be standard on most 308 models, with standard red LED lights at the opposite end.

The small Peugeot’s daylight opening (DLO) is a notable exterior design highlight with an almost rectangular shape from the B-pillar back.

Under the tauter new bodywork sits the new ‘EMP2’ platform that will underpin a range of future models from sister brands Peugeot and Citroen.

2013 Peugeot 308 side with rear

The 2014 Peugeot 308 not only follows design cues seen on the smaller 208 but also copies its city car sibling’s approach to downsizing.

The new model is slightly shorter than the previous version, similar in size to a VW Golf at 4.25 metres long, and also sheds weight – an average of 140kg, according to Peugeot.

A minimalist interior is lined with high-quality materials, says Peugeot, with gloss black and satin chrome trim details, while the French brand claims a benchmark size for the 308’s 9.7-inch touchscreen that, flanked by central air vents, dominates the car’s dash.

2013 Peugeot 308 dash

The instrument dials look similar to the 208’s though feature an unusual rev counter that moves its needle anti-clockwise.

They sit ahead of a steering wheel that, as in the 208, is compact in size.

Peugeot hasn’t released any engine details but says the 308 will bring significant reductions in CO2 emissions, including one model that will be rated as low as 85g/km.

Expect drivetrains to be similar to those offered in the new Peugeot 2008.

As CarAdvice reported in March, a Peugeot 308 GTi and a 308 R model look set to form part of a Peugeot 308 range.

2013 Peugeot 308 rear