Peugeot Sport is reportedly working on a new plug-in hybrid R performance model, and the lucky recipients are the 508 and 508 SW. Apparently, both R models will feature a more sophisticated PHEV system with all-wheel drive, as reported by Australian website motoring.

A senior executive from Peugeot told the publication that development of the R models is currently underway, and the uprated PHEV system is expected produce at least 350 hp (260 kW). “In the future, we won’t have a powerful engine without electrical assistance,” he added. That of course refers to Group PSA’s electrification push, which will see all models get electrified from 2019.

The insider did not explicitly reveal the 508 R’s output, but it will be far more than the 300-hp (224 kW) AWD system in the 3008 GT Hybrid4. Expect the R to get the same 1.6 litre four-cylinder PureTech petrol engine and more powerful electric motors in place of the existing 80-kW units. That translates to a zero to 100 km/h time of around 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h.

While the standard 508 Hybrid is strictly front-wheel drive, the Peugeot exec said there’s no reason why the twin-motor version (all-wheel drive) cannot be fitted to the 508. A larger and more energy-dense lithium-ion battery could also be fitted, up from the current 13.2 kWh battery pack (located under the floor of the rear passenger seat).

The 508 R will be based on the same EMP2 platform and is likely to get an independent multi-link rear suspension. Other features include an aluminium bonnet and front fenders, composite boot lid and 20-inch light alloy wheels. At launch, it will take on German rivals like the Audi S4 and Mercedes-AMG C 43.

“We will have sportier versions of the 508, the hybrid 3008 will have 300 hp (224 kW) and at some point probably even more, so we’ll have a performance version. Not only does a PHEV lower emissions and fuel consumption, it gives you extra power and if you adjust all of this properly you can get a proper performance car,” Peugeot design boss Gilles Vidal said.

“Your ultimate car in terms of performance becomes the lowest in terms of CO2,” he explained, adding that he’s looking forward to the challenge of styling the 508 R. “I don’t think it would take much [for the 508] to become a hot sedan. You don’t need to go crazy”.

Both Vidal and the unnamed exec have said that the performance 508 will not likely be a GTI. “You couldn’t name this a GTI. It relates to small cars like the 208 and 308. It sounds funny to put a badge like this on a big car,” Vidal said.