Is it possible to design a spacious family MPV that also offers the driver the sensation of being in a comfortable, dynamic saloon? Peugeot designers claim to achieve just that with the 5008 presented at Frankfurt, and describe their creation as “an original interpretation of a compact people carrier, where dynamic exterior styling combines harmoniously with a large interior capacity”. In spite of the car’s tall architecture, the ergonomics of the driving position are very close to those of a sophisticated saloon. Contributing to this impression is the near-vertical steering wheel (with the same rake as the 308 hatchback) and the car’s very aerodynamic shape (with a Cd of 0.29, a remarkable achievement for an MPV), which is evocative of fluidity and driveability, and the new Peugeot is indeed a pleasure to look at and easy to drive.

Peugeot design chief Jean-Pierre Ploué is obviously ecstatic about the latest arrival: “This is a very elegant car that fully expresses the new dynamism of our brand, which is currently in the midst of a renaissance, as testified by concrete results in terms of the environment, design and style. The 5008 is an indicator of our future, of a healthy brand that has reacquired significant slices of the market and for which the global crisis has been an opportunity to develop projects and products with an optimistic flavour”. Ploué has no qualms about admitting that credit for the new car is in fact not due to him: he arrived in October 2008, in time to make just a few finishing touches to a project headed by previous design director Jerome Gallix, with the exterior design by project manager Anna Costamagna in collaboration with Artem Neretin, and the interior by Neil Simpson with the involvement of Amko Leenarts (now director of interior style for the entire brand).

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 180

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