Wednesday, 2 November 2011 4:34 PM
Here’s a handsome Peugeot. The new 208 supermini is about as curvy, cut, slashed and exciting as any real-world car we’ve seen for a while.
Good work, French dudes!
"The 208 is a new illustration of the marque’s project launched two years ago, representing a new stage in Peugeot's desire to drive itself towards ever greater modernity, " says Xavier Peugeot, Marketing and Communication Director at the brand.
There’s much of the new 508 mid-sizer in the front-end; itself a bit of a looker, while both the 3- and the 5-door 208s feature heavily-sculpted and detailed front wings, doors and rear quarters, but with a distinct difference to the direction of the chiselling. I can’t think of another car that makes such a bold differentiation between two model variants…
Set for launch in the summer of 2012, the striking 208 gets more than just that taught and toned skin; it’s actually much lighter than the rather portly car it replaces; the 207. Up to 173kg lighter, in fact – and that’s something considering both cars share the same wheelbase.
The 208 is a little shorter (70mm) than its predecessor, but interior space has expanded, with an extra 50mm of knee room for rear seat passengers, and a bigger boot. Plenty of practical goodness indeed, but the looks, lightness and (hopefully) driving-style are all designed to make us think nostalgically of the light ‘n’ loopy Peugeot 205 GTi; one of the finest hot hatches known to man. Only a 208 test drive will confirm or deny these potentially exciting emotions.
However, for the timebeing we’ll all have to hold our GTi-horses, because the initial launch 208s will be frugal-friendly, rather than nostalgic 80s-style nutters. For the 208, on average, CO2 emissions are 34g/km lower than the 207, with the 208 eyeing the eco-top spot in its segment, and it'll be making good use of the latest generation of Peugeot engine technology and their e-HDi micro-hybrid system, on virtually all versions.
Of five 208 models, four are to be equipped with the latest generation of Stop & Start System (e-HDi), with the diesel engine range starting at an impressive 87g/km of CO2 and 83.1 mpg. Petrol-wise, we’ll see a new range of 3-cylinder petrol engines, 1- and 1.2-litre VTi, which, at their best, return 99g/km of CO2 and 65.7mpg. These headline eco-figures are what potential customers want to hear right now, of course… until the 208 GTi grabs some headlines for itself, that is…
By Daniel Anslow
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