Is This Peugeot 408 the New Dodge Charger?
We’ve been waiting for the first Peugeot or Citroen to be rebadged as a Dodge or Chrysler. It was surely expected after Stellantis was formed, combining Fiat Chrysler with so many European brands. But so far, nothing like that has happened. That could be partly because none of its current line of vehicles was engineered for potential U.S. entry. Now, however, Peugeot just introduced the new 408, and its development has taken place since these nameplates joined up.
Will this new Peugeot be sold in the U.S.?
So could this new 408 be rebadged as the next Dodge Charger? Or maybe the new Chrysler 300? While Stellantis hasn’t said whether this all-new Peugeot will make it here, we think the chances of this happening are numerous, and here’s why.
First, this is the first crossover ever created by French manufacturer Peugeot. It is an outlier, meaning the market and plans for it have changed from past products. Don’t forget that cars still outsell SUVs and crossovers in France. So Peugeot could have followed with a more car-like architecture and still have a winner.
The 3008 is the car brand’s traditional SUV. So it has that segment partially covered already. This new fastback styling, which resembles the Mustang Mach-E if you squint, is completely new territory.
Will the new Peugeot 408 be available as an EV?
Then there are the powertrain options. Two plug-in hybrids will be available first, as well as a straight gas-powered engine. An all-electric version will soon follow. So Peugeot has engineered into the 408 a variety of different power options. The gas engine has 130 hp, with the hybrids having 180 hp and 225 hp. To sell a version of the crossover in the U.S. you need a range of gas and EV choices.
This new Peugeot also features its i-Cockpit integration, with six cameras and nine radars. Driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control with stop and go functions, night vision, long-range blind-spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert.
Right now, Stellantis’ plans are to begin 408 production early next year in Mulhouse, France, according to Reuters. On the heels of that, it will begin making the 408 in Chengdu, China. So Peugeot has global intentions for the crossover. But if that means including the U.S., it will have to be under the Dodge or Chrysler nameplates.
So, is this the next Dodge Charger?
Sedans are DOA in the American market, so whatever form the Charger or 300 takes, it won’t be a three-box architecture. Which also bolsters the idea that this is going to be reworked into a Dodge or Chrysler of some sort.
We’ve already gotten more than a glimpse of Chrysler’s all-new Airflow, coming in 2024. This is not that car. So our guess is that this is the next Dodge Something. Intrepid? Charger? Dart? Who knows what it might be called, or what old nameplate it will shine?
The only way for the Stellantis conjunction to work is through economies of scale, at least for its bread-and-butter offerings. Bet on the Peugeot 409 being reworked into an all-new Dodge.