Peugeot has revealed its slinky new 508 SW, a load-lugging rival to the Volvo V60, ahead of its in-person unveil at this year's Paris motor show.
UPDATE, 1:58pm: Peugeot's local importer has confirmed it wants the 508 SW. Tyson Bowen, local Peugeot communications boss, said: “It is absolutely on our wish list and we are working with PSA to secure it for the local market.”
Forgetting practicality for a moment, let's just enjoy the way the 508 SW – known as the Touring in Australia, which is he we'll refer to it from now on – looks. It might be capable of carrying a flat-pack sofa, but it's also a stunning piece of design, with frameless doors and a low roofline. Measuring 4.78m long, it's only 3cm longer than the sedan and 5cm shorter than the car it replaces.
Peugeot is keen to highlight the way the wheels fill the arches, the way the panel gaps are well hidden and the lack of antennae. Up front, there are LED headlamps with a slash-style running light extending into the bumper, while the rear-end is home to a claw-like LED light setup and broad, gloss-black strip running the width of the boot.
With the luggage cover fitted, the car will hold 530L of gear – down 30L on its predecessor, and 9L down on the Volvo V60. The rear seats fold 60/40, creating a 1780L load space when completely flat. The entire range gets an aluminium cover for the loading lip, while top-grade cars are offered with load rails and netting.
Up front, the cabin is identical to that of the 508 sedan. The driver is faced with the Peugeot iCockpit 2.0 instrument display, and grasps a leather steering wheel regardless of grade. There's lots of satin chrome around the dashboard, steering wheel, doors and switches, while all the door pockets are fabric lined.
There's storage for two 1.5L drink bottles in the glovebox, a 1.0L bottle in the doors and 500ml cups or bottles in the centre console. There's also a smartphone-sized tray in the dash, for when you don't want to use the wireless charging pad.
On the technology front, the 508 Touring will offer night vision, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, full autonomous park assist, high-speed autonomous emergency braking (up to 140km/h) and driver attention alert.
Because it's built on the new EMP2 platform, the new 508 SW is around 70kg lighter than the car it replaces. New engine mounts and bonding techniques, variable damping and an eight-speed automatic have been chosen for their refinement, as Peugeot looks to push upmarket.
Power will come from a range of PureTech 1.6-litre petrol engines and 1.5- or 2.0-litre BlueHDi diesel engines. In the second half of next year, a plug-in hybrid powertrain will be added to the options list with a 50km pure-electric range.
The 508 Touring will be officially revealed at the Paris motor show, before landing in European showrooms in January 2019. Peugeot wants the car locally, and is working with PSA to make it happen. Cross your fingers, folks.
UPDATE, 4:42pm - We've tweaked the headline to say '508 Touring', which is how it's traditionally been badged in Australia.