Gen Z reckons Peugeots should be about gaming, not performance
Want to derive fun from your future Peugeot? Well, it’s going to be a somewhat different experience. Sure, the ghost of hot hatchbacks past has haunted the French firm far too long, but at the premiere of its new E-3008 crossover, an all-new type of performance car was touted.
"We’ve been doing lots of research with younger customers," says CEO Linda Jackson. "If I talk to a certain generation, the word performance means a 205 GTI and they ask 'when are you producing another one?' When I talk to our future customers, they have different ideas of what performance is."
Peugeot has been DMing Gen Z, and the conversation might not encourage purists. The next generation of car buyers don’t want lift-off oversteer in the real world – they want a gamified experience within the digital one. The noise a car makes simply isn’t a concern, either. Lucky, given Peugeot’s European sales will be entirely electric by 2030.
"Our focus is on delivering the widest range of mainstream EVs by 2025," says product director Jérôme Micheron. "The performance car market has been collapsing and it’s not where our focus is right now."
A feeling which extends to keeping sporty badging off Peugeot’s speedier EVs, the 320bhp Dual Motor iteration of the E-3008 marketed on its AWD ability rather than any straight-line benefits from being the firm’s second most powerful car yet. The most powerful – the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered hybrid – does at least live on for now.
"Performance for the younger generation is digital," he adds. "The Hypersquare control in our Inception concept gives you an idea of how we bring gaming into Peugeot."
While the Inception itself appears a typical flight of concept car fancy, Jérôme and his team assure us the Hypersquare will make production – perhaps as early as 2026.
Whether it proves enough to stop us carping on about the deft responses of a 306 Rallye? Well that remains to be seen…
STORY Stephen Dobie