Small SUV, big plans
A BABY SUV that puts Peugeot up against Mini is confirmed for Australia in 2013.
The French brand’s Urban Crossover Concept, which likely will be renamed and badged as the 2008 for showrooms, is a spin-off from the upcoming Peugeot 208 and headed for big things in Australia.
It comes as sales of small SUVs boom in Europe, with everything from the Nissan Juke to the Ford C-Max and Opel Mokka doing growing numbers.
It’s more like the Mini Countryman than anything else, although direct comparisons will have to wait until the Paris Motor Show in September and then the production run that starts in 2013.
But the 2008 has been given early clearance for Australia as the company plans to push hard with a solid spin-off from the 208 and its headliner model, the GTi hot hatch.
‘‘Yes, the UCC is coming. We will have it in the final quarter of next year,’’ confirms Bill Gillespie, general manager of Peugeot Automobiles Australia.
He is less specific on prices and rivals, although it is likely to be compared with the Mini Countryman for space and priced in a similar ballpark.
‘‘It’s smaller than the 4008, which is going really well. It’s bringing new people to the brand,’’ he says.
The UCC was revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show in April and picks up the latest styling directions from both the 208 and 4008.
But it will definitely be a spin-off from the mechanical platform of the 208, which means smallcapacity engines for maximumfuel efficiency.
Peugeot is planning big for Australia with the ultimate goal of hitting 10,000 sales a year, although it has not set a timetable.
It’s also waiting for clearance and positive tests before committing to any of the company’s upcoming hybrid cars.
The 2008 is known internally as the A94 and has been fast-tracked for production following an earlier concept car, the HR1, at the Paris Motor Show in 2010.
The Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept is heading to Australia in the final quarter of 2013