MotoringJack Gleeson 27 Apr 2022
Peugeot 508 PSE is an eye-catcher
By Seán Creedon
WHEN Peugeot launched the new version of their classy 508 in Ireland a few years back Colin Sheridan, the Sales and Marketing Director at Gowan Distributors, who hold the Irish franchise for Peugeot, said that not everybody wants to buy an SUV.
Of course Mr Sheridan is correct; there is still a market for small cars, hatch-backs, saloons and sporty-looking cars. I was driving a car from the latter category last week, the Peugeot 508 PSE Hybrid.
Now the regular Peugeot 508 is a lovely car, but this PSE version is just class and maybe too class for me at what I would hope at this stage to be – a mature man.
I don’t think the car will be attractive to many ‘empty nesters’ like myself, but I also think you probably won’t find many young males able to afford the 70k price tag.
People who are interested in cars are always making comparisons and this time it was no different.
The first person I met when I picked up the car last week said it reminded him of the Kia Stinger which was classy, but it didn’t make a huge impression on the Irish market a few years back.
My PSE (Peugeot Sport Engineered) test car came in Selenium Grey with some neat yellow touches on the exterior and the brake callipers were also yellow.
I’m told the official colour is acid green
Acid green is also used on the stitching on the Alcantara suede seats and on what is a very neat-looking steering wheel. That touch of green certainly helps to brighten up the interior décor.
This is a very low set car and you need to be careful getting in and out and mind your head, especially when getting into the back seat.
I suppose it’s all about style and power and with 360 horses under the bonnet you can get from zero to 100km/h in just over five seconds.
Externally the car has a coupé look and in addition to the regular Peugeot Lion logo it also has three yellow stripes, which we are told are supposed to represent a Lion clawing at the bonnet, not the famous Adidas three stripes.
Inside it’s typical Peugeot with the usual array of seven piano-style keys on the dash.
Those keys are used for audio controls and air conditioning. The steering wheel has a real sporty look to it.
Younger readers may not associate Peugeot with racing cars, but did you know that Peugeot has won Le Mans three times?
I drove a Hybrid version of the 508 PSE with lots of different options, comfort, 4×4, sport and naturally fully electric. Most hybrid cars will give you around 50km in full EV mode, but the 508 PSE will only do around 40km.
Overall I found the 1.6-litre, with automatic eight-speed gear-box, was a bit thirsty. However, if you take it easy and drive cagey along a motorway in Hybrid mode you will see the range increase.
All that power and style is not cheap and the price of my test car came to €70,405. Road tax in the Hybrid version is €140. The boot is huge, but with all that technology in the rear, there’s no room for a spare wheel.
No doubt about it, this 508 PSE is a real eye-catcher with frameless windows, LED lights, 20-inch alloys and those neat winglets. But at this stage of my life I would be happy enough with a regular 508 and maybe leave the more powerful PSE to the younger generation.
Traffic light tech could save lives
IN EMERGENCY situations anything that causes first responders to slow down effects how quickly they can arrive at the scene – and such delays can prove fatal.
Ford has recently trialled new connected technology that could make traffic lights automatically go green to offer clearer routes for ambulances, fire engines and police vehicles.
They could also help reduce the risk of an accident caused by first responders driving through red lights.
“Whether it’s a fire engine attending a blaze or an ambulance that is on route to an accident, the last thing anyone wants is for these drivers to be caught up among other vehicles waiting for the lights to change,” said Martin Sommer, research engineer, Automated Driving Europe, Ford of Europe.
For testing an emergency response situation, the test vehicle signalled to the traffic lights to turn the light green.
Once the vehicle passed through the junction, the traffic lights returned to standard operation.
The communication between vehicles and traffic lights is enabled by C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything) technology, a unified platform that connects vehicles to roadside infrastructure, other vehicles and other road users.
Congestion, as well, could be reduced with traffic lights sending the red-green timing information to approaching vehicles.
The trial was part of a broader project that involved testing automated and connected vehicles and networked infrastructure in highway, urban and rural areas. Ford say the research exemplifies its commitment to using connectivity and innovation to improve the driving experience.
New car registrations increase during March
NEW car registrations were up 40.7 percent (12,935) last month when compared to March 2021 (9,192) according to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI).
Light Commercial vehicles (LCV) are down 32.2 percent (2,032) compared to March last year (2,998) and year to date are down 17.3 percent (9,372).
HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations are down 25.9 percent (249) in comparison to March 2021 (336). Year to date HGVs are down 8.4 percent (823).
Used car imports for March (3,793) have seen a decrease of 35.1 percent on March 2021 (5,840). Year to date imports are down 36.8 percent (11,641) on 2021 (18,419).
For the month of March 1,930 new electric vehicles were registered compared to 1,034 in March 2021.
So far this year 6,244 new electric cars have been registered in comparison to just 2,816 on the same period 2021.
Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrids and Hybrids continue to increase their market share, with a combined market share now of 44.63 percent.
Despite a large decrease in market share for internal combustion engine type vehicles, petrol remains dominant 27.4 percent, with Diesel accounting for 25.83 percent, Hybrid 24.56 percent, Electric 12.51 percent and Plug-in Electric Hybrid 7.56 percent.
“While new car sales are up 41 percent on March last year and up four percent year to date, they still remain 22 percent behind that of pre-COVID (2019) levels,” said Brian Cooke, Director General SIMI.
“Commercial vehicles registrations for both the heavy and light sectors are down for March and year to date. There is strong demand for new and used cars among consumers, although supply continues to remain a major challenge for the Industry, while the hire drive market continues to be well below pre-pandemic levels.
“The Electric Vehicle market continues to grow, with the first quarter of this year seeing over 10,000 new EVs (BEV and PHEV combined) registered, almost double the amount for Q1 2021.
“This acceleration in EV sales is down to both the increase in the number of models now available for sale, and the SEAI Grants supporting their purchase.”