French revolution: new Peugeot 208 rewrites the rulebook
Peugeot has shown the first ever pictures of the brand new 208, and accompanied them with all sorts of wild and exciting claims.
Mainly, Peugeot says that the new 208 is "an icon" that "rewrites the rulebook". Of course, all carmakers wax lyrical about their new cars while they can – before cynical car journalists get the chance to nitpick them into oblivion – but based on these new pictures at least, the new small Pug could be the real deal.
For a start, it's much lighter model-for-model than the Peugeot 207 it replaces: 110kg lighter on average, and up to 178kg at its most svelte - which is around 28 stone, to put it in people terms. That means it'll be more efficient and handle with more aplomb, in theory.
The subjective handling quality we'll have to wait to find out about, but the measurable efficiency one is already boding well: Peugeot claims that 34g/km is the average CO2 dip over an equivalent 207, with the most economical diesel version, with stop-start, delivering 83.1mpg.
And 83.1mpg means 87g/km of CO2, which means more Toyota Prius bashing is on the way. Heck, even the petrol versions begin at 99g/km, 1kg below the free VED threshold; the 208 will debut a range of three-cylinder petrol engines.
The environmental agenda doesn't begin and end with the engines, though, because Peugeot says that quarter of the car is built from materials of "recycled or natural origin". The rear bumper is made entirely of such material, which alone will result in a potential saving of 1,600 tonnes of fuel per year in its manufacturing, compared to the 207's.
The 208 is smaller then the 207, yet offers more interior and luggage space, and, more interestingly, a cabin that is "a true break from what has gone before, beyond the recognized technical constraints and cultural references"...
...despite that, you may just be able to make out a traditional steering wheel, instrument binnacle and dashboard combination in the picture below.
It's hard to tell on the picture, but the steering wheel is of notably reduced girth, which Peugeot says completely reconfigures the driving experience and ergonomic feel, giving the car "a completely new driving agility". We'll see.
No announcement on prices yet, but assume safely that all this rulebook re-writing will come at a premium over the dull old 207 when the 208 hits the UK shops in summer 2012.