The trailblazing 508 PSE is an alluring and sporty plug-in hybrid.

It’s a notable car because it represents the debut of the Peugeot Sport Engineered sub-brand.

The range will be entirely made up of performance plug-in hybrids, making it an intriguing prospect for those with an appetite for a more sporty drive.

With a 355hp powertrain and a price tag of over £55,000, the estate version of the 508 PSE is a powerful yet pricey proposition.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Left and top right, the 508 PSE on test near Meltham, Kirklees, and (top left) with the pleasant backdrop of the bowling green in Victoria Park, Oakenshaw, Bradford

That punchy performance comes courtesy of a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors, with one to power each axle.

The sprint from a standing start to 62mph is achieved in a fast-feeling 5.2 seconds, with the top speed electronically capped at 155mph.

The eight-speed automatic transmission seems well matched to the engine, and throttle response is instantaneous.

There are five driving modes from which to choose. In ‘Electric’ mode, with a fully charged battery, you can travel for 26 miles and can reach a theoretical maximum speed of 86 mph.

‘Comfort’ mode provides the softest and most relaxed suspension setting, ‘Hybrid’ mode selects the ideal power source for the prevailing driving conditions, ‘Sport’ tightens up the suspension and allows access to the full 355hp output, while the ‘4WD’ mode offers extra traction in greasy conditions.

You’ll want to keep the battery topped up if you’re to achieve maximum performance and the best mpg outcomes, as the power sources are most effective when working in tandem.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The 508 PSE on test in West Yorkshire

It’s immensely smooth to drive, with a seamless transition between the electric motor and the turbocharged engine.

It’s worth noting that, if you need to drive on the motorway a lot or you want to make the most of the car’s performance potential, you won’t get anywhere near the official 138.9mpg economy figure.

The extra power, when compared to the normal 508, is accommodated through some significant tweaks, with the suspension sitting 4mm lower and being 50 per cent stiffer. The axle tracks are wider, new adaptive dampers have been fitted large 380mm Alcon brakes have also been added.

It all makes for a dynamic and engaging driving experience, with the car feeling well planted in the corners.

In terms of looks, the 508 was already a slick-looking machine, but Peugeot has really ramped up the emotional appeal of the PSE version to make it a really eye-catching vehicle.

PSE cars have a distinctive new logo – the three ‘Kryptonite’ claws emblazoned across the nose of the car, sitting above the Peugeot crest itself, as plus on the flanks and boot.

Its bright green exterior accents and brake calipers draw attention, as do the 20-inch alloys, aerodynamic front winglets and gloss black diffuser.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The 508 PSE on test in West Yorkshire

The interior is a pleasant place to be and is familiar from the normal 508.

Peugeot’s i-Cockpit includes the very stylish-looking piano key controls underneath the 10.0-inch high-definition infotainment screen.

Bright green upholstery stitching has been added, while the comfortable seats are trimmed with a blend of leather and Alcantara.

In conclusion, it’s a compelling package that really embraces the future of performance and electrification.

The Lowdown

508 PSE SW hybrid 

PRICE: £55,795 on the road
ENGINE: 1.6-litre petrol with 164kW electric motor
PERFORMANCE: 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and top speed of 155mph (restricted)
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed auto
ECONOMY: 138.9mpg