Peugeot's 208 line-up revealed
Spiritual successor to original 205GTI tipped to add style to line-up next year, set to be joined by new SUV and soft-top.
Meet the Lion’s new pride! Auto Express can lift the lid on Peugeot's forthcoming 208 supermini family - including the thrilling news that the line-up is expected to include a new GTI hot hatch.
Powered by a 200bhp 1.6-litre engine, the newcomer will be based on a development of chassis that underpins the brilliant Citroen DS3 - creating a spiritual successor to the original 205GTi in the process.
Auto Express sources in France also suggest drivers can bank on a new supermini SUV; a lightweight, two-seater drop-top and even a baby version of the RCZ coupé - all of which we take a closer look at, below.
After the conventional
three-door and five-door 208 hatches are launched, the
firm will introduce a dramatic coupé that will slot into the range as a baby brother to
the Audi TT-rivalling RCZ.
The new car continues
the trend set by the 508 and 208 in establishing Peugeot’s
latest design language. It’s the work of styling chief Gilles Vidal and PSA Peugeot-Citroen design boss Jean-Pierre Ploué, who have sought to bring back simple, elegant lines
to the brand’s cars.
The idea is to replace the swollen metalwork and gaping grilles of current Peugeots, and re-establish the firm as
a design leader. The Coupé will feature the rakish, feline design cues of the SR1
concept seen at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. Swept-back headlights, sculpted flanks and an elegant tail will be incorporated into the shape.
To match the striking looks, the car will be sharp to drive. The Coupé uses the 208’s front-wheel-drive platform, but gets bespoke settings for the steering and suspension. What’s more, as with the RCZ and 508, the top-spec model will feature a more advanced front suspension set-up that tames torque steer and gives greater steering sharpness.
Power will come from a
line-up of small turbocharged engines, including the 1.6-litre petrol unit found in the RCZ. The Coupé is currently slated to arrive in summer 2013.
Following the Coupé, Peugeot is evaluating a 208 Roadster that would take the fight to MINI’s imminent two-seater cabrio. This fabric-roofed model wouldn’t replace the folding hard-top CC – that model has been part of Peugeot’s range since the 206, and will be offered in a 208.
Instead, the Roadster will be aimed at those wanting a mix of wind-in-the-hair thrills and a purer driving experience. That will allow the 208 CC to be sold as a luxurious junior tourer, with high-spec interior, sophisticated multimedia set-up and the option of a twin-clutch gearbox.
Powering the roadster will be the 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine, allowing Peugeot to market it as a spiritual successor to the legendary 205 GTi convertible. Low weight will be central to the car’s appeal: it will get a canvas top and a more spartan interior to shave kilos and help achieve a sparkling driving experience.
The Roadster is expected to match the MINI for pace – the two will share an engine, after all – but should undercut it on price when it arrives in 2014.
Also breaking new ground for Peugeot is a junior SUV that takes its inspiration from the HR1 unveiled at last year’s Paris Motor Show.
The newcomer is set to be a rival to Nissan’s Juke, and Peugeot may co-develop the car with Mitsubishi. The 4007 was spun from the Japanese firm’s Outlander, while a new, smaller Peugeot model is currently being developed from Mitsubishi’s ASX.
As with the HR1, a hybrid drivetrain is possible, as is a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine.