208: The Future-Proof Supermini Peugeot’s new hatch brings extra tech to the mainstream. By Jake Groves.
Pick your power This autumn’s new 208 uses PSA’s group-wide Common Modular Platform underpinnings. The same hardware can handle combustion engines, hybrid or full EV (with 221-mile range) without eating into boot space; for the EV, batteries replace fuel tank and exhaust. Same production lines make everything, saving time and money.
The return of 205-style agility Using ultra-modern powertrains won’t stop Peugeot taking dynamic inspiration from the finest-handling car in its back catalogue. ‘There’s a spirit of the 205 here,’ says project manager Guillaume Clerc. That might be tricky with the likely 300kg extra weight of the EV. Most potent engine is a 128bhp triple.
i-Cockpit upgraded The new 208 gets a neat evolution of Peugeot’s familiar i-Cockpit cabin. There’s the usual flattened steering wheel, infotainment screen set high and a tiny gear selector for auto versions. A 3D instrument display with two layers of data is new. Top-end models have multi-material upholstery and carbonfibre-effect dashboard texturing.
Peugeot’s design renaissance continues It’s another Pug punching well above its weight, visually. High-spec versions get fang-style daytime running lights and tiger-claw rear lights. GT models stick out further with gloss black wheelarches and a chrome tailpipe. The e-208 has blue highlights, unique wheel designs and a glowing lion badge.
It’s smart so you don’t have to be The 208 will be available with more tech than any previous small Peugeot, with big-car levels of safety systems and connectivity offered. It’s not ready yet, but Peugeot promises there will also be the ability to send digital access to your car to others via an app in future; no key needed, just a smartphone, as car-sharing takes off.
Digital dials crown a futuristic cabin