Last seen at the Geneva motor show as a static concept the Peugeot 208 FE is taking shape and we were given a sneak preview of the motorsport technology at work in this ultra-efficient hybrid hatch.
Jointly developed by Peugeot sport (the team responsible for the 208 T16 Pikes Peak car) and fuel firm Total, the FE is supposed to stand for 'Fuel Economy' and 'Fun and Efficient' as the ambitious development targets were to emit less than 50g/km of C02 while offering similar performance to the 208 GTi.
The complete car is set to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and should return an official 135mpg while completing the 0-62mph sprint in just 8 seconds flat.
To achieve these figures Peugeot started with the basic 1.0-litre VTi 208 and took it to a wind tunnel, and replaced everything from the A-pillars back with an aerodynamic and lightweight carbon body. This cuts 200kgs from the standard model's 975kg kerbweight and improves air flow with a rear diffuser.
Helping to further reduce the weight the petrol fuel tank is just 20-litres and both the front and rear suspension have been replaced with a fibre glass 'blade' that acts as a wishbone, spring and anti-roll bar combined - saving 15kgs at each axle. The tyres are narrower than before but the 19-inch wheels mean bigger brake discs can be fitted so the brake pedal requires less force to stop the car.
The engine has been bored out to 1.2-litre and put on the Atkinson cycle for more efficient combustion and fitted with a racing cylinder head and given a diamond carbon coating for smoother running. The hybrid module and batteries from the now defunct Peugeot 908 HYbrid4 Le Mans car have been fitted.
Turned down to produce 40bhp intead of the 134bhp in the race car the electric motor fits straight on to the back of the modified five-speed EGC semi-automatic gearbox and links to a 90-cell lithium-ion battery pack - giving a pure electric range of between nine and twelve miles.
In the finished car three driving modes will be offered, a zero-emissions mode, eco driving hybrid mode and a sport mode for maximum performance. Once the car is finished there will be media drives in October but at this time there are no plans for a production version.