Peugeot has revealed their second-generation 208 ahead of its official public debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in early March. The small hatch has gained an all-new platform, styling, powertrains, and even comes as a full battery EV to upstage the Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf.
The French automaker is clearly stuffing as much of its ‘A material’ into the new 208, and indeed it could be the most consequential car they launch for the next few years. Occupying a slightly larger footprint than its predecessor and no longer available as a 3-door, this new car flaunts its funky youthful exterior, taking many cues from other new Peugeots and even classic models like the 205.
At launch, which is expected to occur by the mid-year in certain markets, the all-new 208 will be available with a string of combustion engine options carried over from the current car. A 1.2-litre three-cylinder Puretech will come in varying outputs between 56kW and 96kW while a 76kW four-cylinder BlueHDi is on offer to accommodate diesel diehards with either engine choice mated to a manual transmission or 8-speed automatic.
The real headliner is the e-208 as Peugeot has managed to develop a full EV alongside a conventional five-door hatch, albeit one that uses an alternate version of the CMP platform specific for fully electric applications. Apart from a different set of alloys and some small exterior tweaks, the e-208 looks identical to its petrol or diesel powered version, but is able to drive up to 340km (according to WLTP’s procedural estimates) thanks to its large 50kWh battery.
Peugeot estimates that a full charge may take upwards of 20 hours if the car is power is taken from a regular wall socket. However, at a 100kW rapid charging public terminal, replenishing the cells to 80 percent capacity can take as little as 30 minutes.
The e-208 should be pretty brisk too with its single electric motor delivering 100kW of thrust to the front axle in such a small and lightweight package relative to other EVs. Peugeot isn’t divulging much by way of performance data as of yet, though, despite its Sport mode clearly communicating this capability. However, a respectable 8.1 seconds is given as a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time.
Interestingly, should these early examples be an accurate representation of the final spec, Peugeot has fitted all variants with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, including the e-208. The decision to not equip with electric variant with less performance-oriented rubber in favour of low rolling resistance alternatives in the name of increased range is a telling choice.
Inside, the 208’s cabin takes inspiration from the rest of the Peugeot portfolio, itself now having become known for its futuristic design, high levels of technology, as well as clever use of premium materials and high quality build. From these pictures alone, it looks like a significant step up from the outgoing car.
Usual suspects do return, however, including the company’s love-it-or-hate-it i-Cockpit layout, but so does more universally praised elements such as the driver-oriented control scheme, body-hugging seats, cascading dashboard, and the pairing of a digital gauge cluster and infotainment screen reducing button clutter to a minimum.
Lastly, Peugeot promises that higher-end variants of the 208 will arrive with a full assortment of driver assist features including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert, and Blind Spot Monitoring.