Peugeot 508 GT 17

Fans of increasingly endangered big French sedans will be pleased to know that the Peugeot 508 will live on, with a next-generation model set to arrive on scene in 2018, according to Autocar. However, the D-segment sedan is expected to take on a slightly different form from the staid – if handsome – current model, in a bid to increase buyer appeal.

Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat apparently confirmed the news, despite the British publication reporting that the 508 is struggling in certain markets in Europe – even though it is selling well in some others, such as in France, Spain and Belgium. “The question is not, “will we replace it?”, because we know we should,” Picat said. “Across the average of European sales, it is worth doing and it is profitable.”

When the next 508 does come to market, it’s expected to be completely restyled and reengineered to shift its appeal to a different set of customers and to compete with newer rivals, as the current car’s pool of buyers is starting to shrink. Could we see a four-door coupé instead, in the mould of the Peugeot Exalt concept?

Peugeot_Exalt_Concept_001

Peugeot Exalt Concept

“The question is whether we repeat the same 4.8-metre saloon design or not,” said Picat. “We see the segment the car is in is losing customers and we also see that it isn’t a segment that customers dream of moving up to, so the opportunities for sales are going to decline step by step if we stand still.

“So it might be that we look at changing some of the car’s capabilities in order to compete. We won’t take a big risk, because we don’t have a huge car park of customers we can risk losing, but we can move the lines of where the class is and we can be a little bold. We have a solution which, we think, is a good surprise — but I will not tell you more.”

The case for the 508 has probably been strengthened by the oddly sedan-centric moves seen elsewhere in the PSA Group – Citroën’s luxury offshoot DS revealed the similarly-sized DS 5LS last year, while Citroën itself launched the C6 flagship just recently, both of which are exclusive to the Chinese market.

GALLERY: Peugeot Exalt Concept