All new Peugeot 208 launches at £16,250 petrol and $25,050 electric
Orders are now being accepted for Peugeot's new 208, in petrol, diesel and electric form, ahead of the customer's start in early 2020.
The new Ford Fiesta is a competitor priced from £16,250 in active trim, powered by a 75bhp 1,2-litre petrol engine. Entry-level models will get 16-inch wheels, automatic emergency braking, a heated fender mirror, automatic air conditioning and a Peugeot i-cab infotainment system.
Prices will rise to $17,350 from 99bhp turbocharged engine, while a mid-spec Allure trim with the same engine is $18,850. An eight-speed automatic transmission adds a £1400 option to the special, but 17-inch wheels, black pillars and leather-style seats are standard on this level.
The range of GT-line trims starts at £20,700 and features ambient lighting, twin tailpipes and a black contrast roof. On GT-line and EV-gt-specific trims, black fender flares are applied because the two versions make a 12mm-wider track than smaller 208s. On the GT-Line, it's only a red flag, but the drivetrain's EV requires it because its front axle has a more stable stance. Peugeot designers, like many companies, prefer the 208 to be fitted with larger wheels, but “in this segment, cost is important,” said Yann Beurel, 208 design manager.
All trim levels can be fitted with a 1,5-litre diesel engine from £18,850, but more interesting is the pricing of the 136bhp all-electric option.
The E-208 starts at £25,050 base in active form, with four trim levels overclocked to bespoke GT specifications, increasing the range by £29,650. That pricing includes a £3500 government grant and a high-speed internal charging cable that is claimed to be capable of charging an e-208 in 7,5 hours from a 7kW charger. Top-spec models are equipped with adaptive cruise control, a stop-start system, stripes, Alcantara interior trim and a larger 10-inch infotainment display.
Specification details further down the e-208 range are largely identical to the conventionally running variants, but the EB sits on 16-inch steel wheels in Active and Allure trim.
The company has also confirmed financing options, a package available for the 208. The electric e-208 can be rented from €289 per month for 48 months, with an initial customer rental of £5450 and an additional final lease of £8978. Monthly payments for conditionally working models will start at £229, with an initial support lease of £700 and an additional final lease of £6138.
About 4cm longer, lower and 30kg lighter than the car it replaces, the new 208 will offer a “more dynamic stance” than the previous one, according to Beurel, who describes its looks as “futuristic and youthful”.
The car is a five-door only and is based on the new Peugeot CMP (Common Modular Platform) architecture that underpins the latest DC 3 Crusader. It will form the basis for the next Vauxhall Corsa now that Vauxhall-Opel has been merged into the PSA group.
The new 208 offers three powertrain options “without compromise,” according to 208 manager Nicolas Bonnardon.
The Electric 208 has a range of up to 211 miles per WLTP cycle thanks to a 50kWh battery that can be charged to 80% from empty in 30 minutes.
All variants are front-wheel drive. Batteries for the electric 208 sit in an H-stretch section under the rear seats, where the fuel tank on the internally burns (ice) options, under the front seats.
Visually, the coloring bar at the front, badges and aerodynamic wheel covers, there is very little difference between the Ice and the EV 208s of the dog, because he thinks that electric vehicles and hybrids will become an integral part of every car.
“We wondered if customers wanted specifics on EVs,” Beurel said. “But they said they didn't want the flag on top so the frontal intake takes on the color of the hull and the blue-green tint on the Lion badges.”
Inside, the 208 gets an update to Peugeot's still-controversial i-Cockpit, which has a small steering wheel that usually sits at the bottom and that, for some drivers, has a clear view of the instrument package.
The night vision camera option bar, convenience, driver assistance and infotainment systems in the new 208 are the same as in the larger, more expensive 508. But there's new equipment in the 208 too, including a neat three-dimensional element in the instrument cluster. Using a reflective screen like a head-up display, the most important information can be brought to the small screen in front of the main instrument package.
“The important thing is that it's not entertainment: it's information,” Beurel said. “It's incredible, but it's really useful when driving.”
And if the i-cockpit layout has its critics? “We have sold five million I-cockpit vehicles,” said Beurel, “and customers tell us they are happy with it.”
Q&C Gilles Vidal, Chief Peugeot Design
What do you think about the design of the new 208s?
“Basically, the idea is to make sure we make a sexy little hot hatch in the modern sense. If you look at 206, 207, 208 over the years, generations have become more mono-spacey-looking, which may be the trend of the 1990s, 2000s. But here we wanted it to be really amazingly sexy looking, four-wheel-in-the-corners cute thing.”
Why is the windshield shifted back?
"Of course. And to achieve this look, you need more than just a silhouette. You must have muscles. Not too much and some shoulder but not too much and wheels in every corner Ideally. Hence the idea that they added-on the black pieces.”
And how without them?
“When you don’t have them, the body is quite sculpted, so it casts a strong shadow and the shape makes a wheel and a wheel in every corner of the car.”
Is it hard to achieve?
“In the automotive industry, there's a lot on the nose, so overhangs grow bigger and bigger. An obvious example is if you look at toddlers: first, second and third. Each time more and more material has to be added [in accordance with safety standards. So the idea was to trick all of those factors into ending up with an attractive babe with perfect proportions as best we could.”
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