The car is five-door only and based on Peugeot’s new CMP (Common Modular Platform) architecture, which underpins the latest DS 3 Crossback. It will form the basis for the next Vauxhall Corsa now that Vauxhall-Opel has been integrated into the PSA Group.
Codenamed P21, the new 208 will offer its three powertrain options “without any compromises”, according to 208 product manager Nicolas Bonnardon.
At launch, it will come with a petrol 1.2-litre tuned for 75bhp (with a five-speed manual), 99bhp (six-speed manual) or 128bhp (eight-speed automatic); a 99bhp 1.5-litre diesel (six-speed manual); and a 136bhp electric powertrain.
Bonnardon told Autocar that, on the new WLTP legislative drive cycle, the electric 208 will have a range of up to 211 miles thanks to a 50kWh battery, which can be charged to 80% from empty in 30 minutes.
All variants are front-wheel drive. Batteries for the electric 208 will sit in an H-section stretching beneath the rear seats, which is where the fuel tank is on internally combusted (ICE) variants, to beneath the front seats.
Visually, bar some colouring on the front, the badges and the addition of aerodynamic wheel trims, there will be very little difference between ICE and EV 208s because PSA thinks EVs and plug-in hybrids will become a natural part of each car’s range.
“We wondered if customers would want specificity on an EV,” said Beurel. “But they said they ‘didn’t want a flag on the top’ so the frontal intake takes body colour and there’s a blue-green tint on the lion badges.”
In the UK, trim levels will be Active, Allure, GT-Line and, exclusive to the EV, GT. On the GT-Line and GT, black wheel-arch extensions are applied because the two versions get a 12mm-wider track than lesser 208s. On the GT-Line, it’s for effect only, but the EV’s powertrain necessitates it because its front axle comes with a wider stance. Wheel sizes are 16in or 17in. Peugeot’s designers, like a lot of companies, would prefer larger, but “in this segment, cost is important”, said Beurel.