An all-new replacement for the best-selling Peugeot 207 will go on sale in the UK in the summer of 2012. The new Peugeot 208 is smaller and much lighter than its predecessor, yet boasts more passenger and luggage room.
The official images show a thoroughly modern car, successfully melding the new Peugeot family face and distinctive rear lights with a more compact shape. The three-door version even harks back to the Peugeot 205 with a chrome flourish at the trailing edge of the side glass. That's likely to hold the 'GTi' badge of a new hot hatch variant.
No official word on that as yet, but Peugeot has released details on an impressively efficient range of petrol and diesel engines. The three-cylinder petrol engines are new, in 1.0- and 1.2-litre capacities, and they boast emissions as low as 99g/km and economy of up to 65.7mpg. The e-HDi diesels better that, with a quoted best of 83.1mpg, emissions as low as 87g/km and maximum CO2 of only 99g/km. Those figures are thanks in part to stop-start, which is standard on four of the five engines.
Another major contributor to such efficiency is significant weight reduction. Peugeot reckons the 208 is, on average, 110kg lighter than the equivalent 207 model, with one version (not detailed) a massive 173kg lighter. Aerodynamics have been improved too.
Peugeot is making a lot of noise about how good the new 208 will be to drive. A small steering wheel will enhance that feeling from the driver's perspective and the reduced weight will undoubtedly help with dynamics.
British buyers will have to wait a while to find out what it's like for themselves, as the 208 doesn't go on sale here until summer 2012. Full pricing and specifications will be released before that.
Shane O' Donoghue - 2 Nov 2011