Spy shots of the all-new Peugeot 208 while it was being tested have been released. Its official unveiling is scheduled for next month. Codenamed A9, this supermini will replace the popular 207 in Peugeot’s range when it starts selling in mid-2012.
Peugeot anticipates that this top-of-the-line 208 GTI, which delivers 197bhp from a 1.6 turbo engine, will signal the return to traditional performance hatch values for the automaker.
The leaked images of the three-door version mostly hide the styling, which is inspired by the 508 saloon and some of its latest concepts like the SR1 roadster and the high-riding HR1 crossover vehicle.
The new car will have an appearance that’s sleeker and won’t have the oversize nose and grille of its predecessor, according to Autocar. The images show that the car has a lower nose and its proportions are more elegant.
Sources inside Peugeot said that the 208 has smaller exterior dimensions but this will not affect interior space. In fact, it may even be roomier.
The new model could be up to 100kg lighter compared to the current version, which weighs 207kg. This is included in Peugeot’s policy of weight savings for each new-generation model.
The interior will also be given some major improvements, with a focus on a simple style and first-rate materials. When it comes to engine development, Peugeot has been working on downsized turbocharged powerplants.
Peugeot is especially proud of its near-200bhp 1.6 unit that powers a GTI model. The petrol engine for this impressive version is the THP powerplant from the RCZ. It comes with a variable valve lift, a twin-scroll turbo and variable cam timing.
The Peugeot 208 or aptly called the A9 Project is based primarily on the PSA Group’s platform 1 technical blueprint. Its objective is to create a vehicle that is aerodynamically light, compact and spacious.
All the specs that were used on the 208 are technically considered to promote the “architectural performance” platform. The A9 used aluminium component for the front suspension to make it lighter. At the same time, they carefully considered the different aspects such as the engine source, soundproofing system, the sub frame’s size as well as the roofing’s Ultra High Steel Strength and Very High Strength Steel Panels.
The Peugeot 207 is heavier by 110kg than the new 208 even if the two use a similar 1.4L HDi engine. In fact, the A9 Project weighs only 975kg. Nevertheless, the previous and the current model have the same wheelbase. They also added a few improvements for the rear seats with more or less 5cm of additional space for the knees.
If the seats are folded down, there’s an extra boot space of 1,152L or 311L below the rear shelf. This impressive boot allowance passed the German Quality Management System Standards. The average allowance requirement is at least 1076 dm3 VDA for the rear seats and 285 dm3 VDA for the rear shelf.
The more compact and lighter model is easier to drive and take anywhere. They significantly reduced the weight for this purpose. Peugeot has been working on this design to make way for its “hunt to eliminate excess weight” principle. Peugeot 208’s overhang is shorter than the 207 by -6cm (for the front) and -1cm (for the rear). The major reduction procedure is done not just to provide aerodynamic performance but also in favour of safety and fuel economy. Finally, Peugeot’s longing for a “virtuous spiral” just came true.