Paris - Peugeot’s latest 508 has won praise for its sleek French looks aimed at luring sedan buyers away from the default German choices, but it has never been a serious contender on the performance front.

If the new 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered concept car, set for reveal at the Geneva show in early March, is anything to go by then that is all set to change.

Said to be the next in a long line of high-performance models planned by Peugeot Sport, this 508 has some serious performance credentials.

Its drivetrain mates Peugeot’s 147kW 1.6-litre PureTech turbopetrol engine to a pair of electric motors - an 81kW unit mounted on the front axle and a 150kW motor on the back, transforming the 508 into a powerful all-wheel-drive sports sedan.

But how fast is it? According to Peugeot, the concept will run from 0-100km/h in just 4.3 seconds, making it just 0.2 seconds slower off the mark than the BMW M3.

But it’s not just about performance as an 11.8kWh battery gives the car an electric-only range of 50km, according to claims.

Peugeot’s designers have also made it look the part, the concept gaining a redesigned front bumper with 3D-printed elements, carbon fibre mirrors, a new rear diffuser and various aerodynamic mods designed to reduce drag and smooth airflow around the car.

It’s also got a rather unique paint job, the ‘Selenium Grey’ finish changing in the light.

New ‘comfort fit’ leather and Alcantara seats and various kryptonite finishes mark out the cabin of the sports sedan in waiting.

Look out for a production model in the not-too-distant future, although a South African introduction would be unlikely as Peugeot does not sell the 508 sedan in South Africa.

IOL Motoring