First New Chrysler? Peugeot Adds Performance Versions For All Models
With the Stellantis merger complete we get to guess which vehicles live and which die. This applies to some of the 14 brands currently within the new Stellantis company. Two models from the former PSA group that will probably die are Lancia and DS. That could also hold true for Chrysler and Dodge. Peugeot just announced it is adding performance versions of all models. Could one of these be the first new Chrysler or Dodge in over a decade?
Peugeot was making plans to return to the US before the Groupe PSA and Fiat Chrysler merger took front and center. So its plan became questionable when well-known brands like Dodge and Chrysler factored in. Other than the Pacifica there haven’t been new models from either automaker since 2008. But with a built-in dealer network, parts distribution, and name recognition it makes sense to just certify Peugeots and Citroens and call them Chryslers and Dodges.
The first of these performance Peugeots will be the 508 PSE
The first of these performance Peugeots will be the 508 Peugeot Sport Engineered or PSE. It will be what some consider the brand’s most powerful road car ever. With a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine hooked to two electric motors, it pumps out 355 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque. Time is 62 mph in 5.2 seconds.
Whether it remains a Peugeot or becomes Chrysler’s flagship the US should see it on our shores a the first Steelantis entry in a year or two. Nothing offered from Chrysler, Dodge, Alfa Romeo, or Fiat, overlaps with it. As a Chrysler, it would help to position the brand back to where it once was, as a competitor to Lincoln and Cadillac.
While the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger could be considered luxury cars in some people’s eyes, they were developed back when Mercedes owned Chrysler. That was in the early 2000s. Almost 20 years ago. Though updated and revised both brands need a shot of something developed in the last few years. That’s not too much to ask for?
The new 508 will be available in Europe later this year
The new 508 will be available in Europe later this year so it’s brand new. Next up will be the smaller 308 which arrives in March for Europe. A PSE version of that would be a welcome addition for Dodge, Chrysler, or even Fiat, though the Fiat name here is getting no traction. And anybody buying a Fiat for its Italian engineering would be turned off by a Franco-Italian combo.
So, if we were betting people we’d place our bets on Chrysler and Dodge absorbing some of the Peugeot models. This would avoid franchise lawsuits and spread the Peugeot brand’s development costs over a built-in Dodge/Chrysler dealer body, repair, parts distribution, and brand recognition. It’s Chrysler’s version of the cavalry coming to save the day.