Remember the Peugeot 405 Mi-16? No? Oh. Well, it was pretty good, with sharp looks and a frenetic 16-valve petrol engine tuned to within an inch of its life, backed up by one of the finest chassis in any family saloon. 

Here, we hope, is its spiritual successor. Mind you, you won’t find the deftness or lightness of the 405 here. The 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered – or PSE, if you can’t bear to clamber all over that name – is a plug-in hybrid, which will probably make it heavy. However, it’s also an astonishingly fast one, with 355bhp and four-wheel drive, enough for a 0-62mph time of just 5.2 seconds. 

That’ll make this the fastest production Peugeot ever. Never mind the 405 Mi-16, then – this 508 might have the cojones to be the Sierra Cosworth of its day. Yet it’ll also do 26 miles on whisper-quiet electric power, so if you can charge it at home, it’ll slash your commuting costs too. 

A tempting combination on paper, then – and if it works as well in the flesh, the 508 PSE could be one of the most exciting cars of the year.

Vauxhall Astra





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