Peugeot says its new 208 supermini represents the “most ambitious specification overhaul” it has made to a road car, with the new machine being lighter and sleeker than the outgoing 207 despite having the same wheelbase.
In light of criticism of the inert handling and high kerb weight of its B-segment predecessor, Peugeot has tried to imbue the new machine with some of the driving characteristics of its most revered supermini, the 205.
In its lightest form, at 975kg, the 208 weighs 173kg less than the 207. The 208 is 70mm shorter than its forebear at 3960mm and around 10mm lower at 1492mm. The wheelbase is identical at 2540mm and, despite exterior reductions, the occupants get more space. The boot is 15 litres bigger than the 207’s at 285 litres.
Peugeot also promises a greatly improved interior, with a focus on simple style and high-quality materials. A small steering wheel, elevated instrument panel and cabin control touch screen are designed to make the car more driver-focused.
The range of 1.4 and 1.6 petrol powerplants used in the 207 will be replaced by new super-frugal 1.0 and 1.2 VTi units.
The most efficient 1.0 variant will provide a claimed 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km. Power outputs are expected to be between 75bhp and 100bhp.
Five diesels will be offered, some of which will be equipped with Peugeot’s frugal ‘micro-hybrid’ technology. Four variants will be equipped with stop-start and the most efficient oilburner will return 83.1mpg and 87g/km.
The car will go on sale in the UK in summer 2012 in three and five-door versions. The three-door will form the basis of the 208 GTI that will follow towards the end of next year.