Peugeot gets fair dinkum about Australian shopping lists with the RCZ coupe and 408 sedan, due next year
SWEEPING changes to its model line-up could put Peugeot on the shopping lists of thousands of buyers for the first time.
In a concerted effort to drive itself out of its niche cul-de-sac, the French brand will release six new models from this week until late 2013, including a family van, revised sports coupe, sedan and the startling 208 baby hatch.
The roll-out starts with the 208. Though ostensibly a replacement for the long-inthe-tooth 207, it is a giant leap that transforms what was once a cute city car into one that has the chassis dynamics and price bracket to take a nip at Volkswagen’s heels and those of the major Asian players.
Peugeot general manager Bill Gillespie says the inclusion of the models, plus a full year’s sales of the existing 508 and 4008 SUV, will add 15 per cent to its 2011 sales tally of 5220. Peugeot made friends with its capped-price service program but its chief attraction is combining French style with Asian prices.
But despite growing interest in the light car segment— not least with Volkswagen’s $13,990 Up— Peugeot won’t bring in its smallest model, the 107. Instead the 208 starts the range with a 1.2-litre three- cylinder engine that reflects the global trend to small-capacity motors.
Gillespie says Australia gets a booted version of the 308, to be called the 408, by April. This will be joined by the 5008 seven-seat people-mover based on the Citroen C4 Picasso.
In March a redesigned RCZ coupe arrives. Asked if it would be joined by a big brother in the form of the Onyx concept, Gillespie says he doesn’t know. ‘‘ Onyx is a showcase of technical equipment and exotic materials. It could become a sports car or it could be the next generation RCZ.’’
The 5008 will take over the seven-seat duties of the outgoing 4007.
Twofor the road: Peugeot’s RCZ coupe (main photo) and 408 sedan, both due next year