Well, after months of it being spotted around the Peninsular, the Peugeot 408 has finally made its Malaysian market debut – Nasim launched the C-segment sedan earlier tonight at its new Blue Box facility in Glenmarie.

Badged as an ideal choice for young professionals with families and looking for a car that offers space, performance and elegance, the new 2012 Peugeot 408 – which is manufactured at the Naza Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) facility in Gurun, Kedah – arrives in two variant forms, the 408 Turbo and the 408 2.0.

The 408 Turbo gets the familiar Prince 1.6 litre THP twin scroll turbo, but the EP6CDTM offers improved output with 163 hp at 6,000 rpm, while maximum torque is 240 Nm at 1,400 rpm – the power output makes the 408 the most powerful C-segment sedan in the market locally, Nasim says.

The increased output is the result of a revised turbo, changes to the ECU mapping and reworked pistons. The upgraded mill is mated to the AT6 six-speed auto adaptive transmission with Tiptronic and a sport mode, and performance specs include a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 9.2 seconds and a 215 km/h top speed.

Meanwhile, the 408 2.0 is powered by the EW10A+ normally-aspirated four-cylinder 2.0 litre unit, which offers 145 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, and the engine is partnered with an AT8 auto adaptive gearbox – the four-speed unit, which also has Triptronic and a sport mode, features a new torque converter. Performance specs for the 2.0 litre include a 195 km/h top speed and a 0-100 km/h time of 12.5 seconds.

Design-wise, the front end of the 4.68 metre-long car includes elements such as Peugeot’s trademark feline headlights and thin chrome strips on the radiator grille, while the ruby red rear lights are trimmed with a clear white strip that hint at a lion’s claws within the cluster. At night, they take on the form of three diagonal strips that are a homage to historic models such as the 504 coupe.

Other external dimensions are a 1,815 mm width, 1,525 mm height and 2,710 mm long wheelbase, which is one of the longest in its segments – as a comparison, it’s just 15mm shy of the D-segment Mazda 6’s wheelbase.

Inside, the 408 features a large, cosy cabin, replete with premium leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with aluminium inserts, automatic dual-zone air-conditioning system with rear air-conditioning vents and almost 33 litres of storage space within the cabin.

In terms of boot space, there’s 562 litres of volume on call, and the rears seats can be folded in a 40/60 split (backrest and seat squabs) to create extra load-carrying space.

Items on the list include a six-speaker World In Peugeot Sound system with CD/ MP3 playback capability and USB/Bluetooth connectivity, an instrument panel LCD, tilt and telescopic steering, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and one-touch power windows with anti-pinch for all four windows.

Both variants also feature cruise control with a speed limiter, “Follow Me Home” headlamp functionality, sensor-activated headlights and wipers as well as automatic retractable side mirrors.

Suspension-wise, the front features inverted pseudo MacPherson-type struts and an antiroll bar, while the rear axle comprises a deformable U-shaped cross member and an integrated antiroll bar. The suspension settings for both cars are a bit different though, the 408 Turbo’s being tuned for a sportier and sharper ride while the 2.0’s suspension offers more comfort.

Both Pugs come equipped with 17-inch wheels, but in different designs as well as profile rubbers – the Turbo wears eight-spoke Melbourne wheels and 225/45 tyres, while the 2.0 features five-spoke Rinjani alloys and 215/50 tyres.

In terms of safety, both variants feature ABS, EBD and EBA, among others. The car has also been designed with a double-impact force dissipation channel to provide maximum passenger compartment protection. In the case of the 2.0, the variant features two airbags.

The 408 Turbo adds four more to the equation (driver and front passenger side, front and rear curtain airbags), making it six, as well as electronic stability programme (ESP), which features anti-slip regulation (ASR) and dynamic stability control (DSC) functions.

Six colours are available for the 408, these being Alpine White, Velvet Silver, Metropolis Bronze, Aster Grey, Bourrasque Blue and Premium Black. Pricing wise, the 408 Turbo goes for RM125,888, while the 2.0 goes for RM109,888, both on the road, with insurance.

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