The am­bi­tious over­haul of a mar­que

It’s smaller and lighter than its pre­de­ces­sor but the new Peu­geot 208 is big news none­the­less, writes Dave Moore

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

While Peu­geot was able to gen­tly morph the progress from the late 90s 206 de­sign through the 207 that’s car­ried the B-seg­ment ba­ton for the brand for the past few years, the new 208 model marks more of a change.

The new model will have three and five-door body styles, though in New Zealand it’s ex­pected that only the higher-per­for­mance cars will use the former for­mat.

Known as the A9 Project in­ter­nally by Peu­geot, the 208 is said by its mak­ers to rep­re­sent the most am­bi­tious spec­i­fi­ca­tion over­haul ever un­der­taken by the mar­que. ‘‘A true gen­er­a­tion leap,’’ said Peu­geot.

The new hatch will reach French show­rooms in the sec­ond quar­ter of next year, with New Zealand tak­ing the car in the sec­ond half of the year. Its first mo­tor­show re­veal will be at the Geneva Sa­lon in March, when a full line-up of en­gines and spec­i­fi­ca­tion choices will go on show.

The 208 en­gine line-up av­er­ages CO2 out­puts of 34g/km per car less than the 207’s and the use of the e-hdi mi­cro-hy­brid sys­tem on nearly all ver­sions con­spires with the car’s weight sav­ings and aero­dy­namic im­prove­ments – it now has a drag co­ef­fi­cient of 0.29 – to cre­ate some im­pres­sive econ­omy fig­ures.

The new car will be the first model from the PSA group (Peu­geot/citroen) to be de­signed from the out­set to use the com­pa­nies’ new fam­ily of mod­u­lar three-cylin­der en­gines. Two petrol triples will be on of­fer with ca­pac­i­ties of 1.0 and 1.2-litres with vari­able valve tim­ing (VTI) and a CO2 emis­sions foot­print as low as 99g/km and ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing a fuel econ­omy rat­ing of 4.3L/100 km.

The 208 will also of­fer a range of HDI diesel mod­els, which will use a new gen­er­a­tion Stop and Start Sys­tem, with the best ver­sion of­fer­ing an 87g/km CO2 rat­ing and fuel econ­omy of 3.4L/100km while none of the diesels on of­fer makes more than 99g/km CO2.

Shorter over­all by 70mm than the 207 and lower by 10mm, the range, which starts from 975kg, is on av­er­age 110kg lighter than the 207, with the big­gest model-for­model sav­ing be­ing 173kg, which is the equiv­a­lent of two good-sized adult pas­sen­gers.

De­spite the smaller size over­all, the 208 of­fers 50mm more rear knee-room and 15 litres of ex­tra load space.

Peu­geot has a few quirky ways of de­scrib­ing the 208’s new styling sig­na­ture, which is meant to start a new trend for the whole mar­que. There’s a float­ing grille, light sig­na­ture, boomerang rear lamps – each de­tail, said Peu­geot, all struc­tured by a spine the im­pres­sion of which is vis­i­ble along the roofline.

In­side, the 208’s in­stru­ments and con­trols have been com­pletely re-thought com­pared with the 206 and 207 mod­els. They are po­si­tioned around a small steer­ing wheel, com­bined with an el­e­vated in­stru­ment panel giv­ing quick, ata-glance in­for­ma­tion and fea­tur­ing a large touch screen.

De­spite its lighter weight and smaller size, the 208 is de­signed from the out­set to score 5-stars in Euro NCAP and ev­ery model will fea­ture a suite of elec­tronic driv­ing aids in­clud­ing an elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme. Quite which mod­els and spec­i­fi­ca­tions will be in­cluded in the New Zealand line-up is not yet known but we’ll let you know as pric­ing and other in­for­ma­tion comes through.

PEU­GEOT 208: Most New Zealand mod­els will be the five-door de­sign (left), with three-door mod­els re­stricted to high­er­per­for­mance ver­sions.

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