The covers have come off the new-generation 2018 Peugeot 508, just a day after leaked photos revealed to the world its stylish exterior and high-end cabin.

With a lower roofline, slim headlamps and concept-inspired detailing, the 508 is certainly a sharper looking beast than its dowdy predecessor. At 4.75 metres long and 1.4m tall, the car is 80mm shorter and 60mm lower than before, with a profile more akin to a Volkswagen Arteon or Audi A5 Sportback than a three-box sedan. You even get frameless doors.

Those full-LED headlamps and slashing daytime running lights draw their inspiration from the Instinct, Fractal and Exalt concepts, while the claw-style tail-lamps are reminiscent of those on the 3008 and 5008. Wheels ranging from 16- to 19 inches in diameter will be offered.

In spite of the compact dimensions, Peugeot is claiming 487 litres of boot space, expanding to 1537L with the rear bench folded.

Behind the wheel, Peugeot has continued the design theme laid out by its SUV range, with a 12.3-inch i-Cockpit display in front of the driver and a 10-inch central touchscreen.

In a move that may put traditionalists offside, the steering wheel has been made significantly smaller than before, as is the case with all i-Cockpit cars. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless smartphone charging all feature.

There's 32 litres of storage space around the cabin, while four USB and two 12V sockets support charging. Peugeot will aim to set the car apart with its material choices, including (but not limited to) full-grain or Nappa leather, chrome, black lacquer, real wood and Alcantara.

The car is built on the Peugeot Citroen (PSA) EMP2 platform, which helps slice an average of 70kg from the old car's kerb weight. Rear suspension is a multi-link setup, and variable dampers are available across the range – although you'll pay extra for them on base-spec cars.

By using the EMP2 platform, Peugeot has opened the door for the latest range of semi-autonomous driver assists. The 508 will be available with adaptive cruise, lane-keeping assist, auto-emergency braking (up to 140km/h), automatic high-beam and blind-spot monitoring, along with a night-vision system.

Power will come from a range of 1.6-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines in Europe. The PureTech 180 and 225 S&S petrol make 134kW and 168kW of power respectively, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the diesel comes in 97kW, 119kW and 134kW guises.

The base model will be available with a choice of six-speed manual and eight-speed auto, the rest of the range will be automatic-only.

Australia

The 508 will arrive in Europe late-2018, with an Australian launch to follow. Pricing and specifications will be announced closer to its local debut.