New Peugeot 208 due in 2018 with all-electric model

The new Peugeot 208 supermini will get sharper looks and an all-electric model to help it rival the Citroen C3 and Ford Fiesta

Peugeot is planning to add an all-electric powertrain to its next 208 supermini, Auto Express understands. The new model is set to launch in 2018 on an all-new platform, which will be engineered to support the new technology.

Asked about the potential for electric power in the larger EMP2 platform, Peugeot 3008 Project Manager Marion David told us “that is something we are working on for the 208 platform. The range is not long enough for the larger cars yet.”

That means the new CMP (Common Modular Platform) technology that will underpin the new 208, as well as future PSA Peugeot Citroen cars, is being engineered to support batteries and motors for all-electric models. The platform is set to shed weight over the current PF1 architecture, which will go some way to offset the weight of battery packs in the small car.

The electric 208 would be part of the PSA Group’s plan to launch 11 electric cars over the next five years. While CMP will get a range of all-electric models, plug-in hybrids are on the way for larger cars like the new 3008 SUV, which will get a PHEV version in 2019.

The existing 208 was facelifted in 2015, but with the Citroen C3 already unveiled plus new versions of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta also expected in 2017 the need for an all-new version is pressing.

Peugeot’s stated goal is to become “the best high-end generalist brand” – more premium than Citroen but less luxury-focused than DS – so the 208’s styling will become more sophisticated.

As our exclusive images show, the 208 will replace its existing curves with crisper, straighter lines and Peugeot’s latest family face, with neatly incorporated LED daytime running lights. It will continue to be offered in three and five-door form.

The overall profile of the new generation will be close to that of its larger brother, the 308, although the 208’s overall length will stay at four metres. The front and rear overhangs should be shorter, though, thanks to a longer wheelbase, which should balance out to increase head and legroom inside.

That extra length will come from the switch to the all-new chassis. Unlike the new Citroen C3, which stays on PSA’s existing PF1 supermini platform, the 208 will get a fresh set of components. Called CMP, the new platform is being developed jointly by the French company’s engineers and technicians from PSA’s Chinese manufacturing partner, Dongfeng.

As with EMP2, which brought significant weight savings to the 308, and 3008, CMP should help the 208 to shed kilos and improve efficiency – it could be up to 100kg lighter, although some of that gain is likely to be ploughed back into a plusher interior.

As well as the all-electric version, the engine line-up will bring new generations of PSA’s BlueHDi diesel and PureTech petrol motors. The petrols are expected to be three-cylinder turbos, with power ranging from around 70bhp up to nearly 150bhp for the 1.2-litre version. There will also be a new 1.6 THP petrol in the 208 GTi, offering around 220bhp.

The diesel range will get an even bigger shake-up, as PSA follows the VW Group’s lead in downsizing its 1.6-litre engines to 1.5 litres. Expect power outputs to remain broadly the same, at between 75bhp and 120bhp, but CO2 emissions to fall to less than 75g/km on eco-focused editions.

Inside, Peugeot will further refine its controversial i-Cockpit set-up, while the central infotainment system will be upgraded for quicker responses. Greater smartphone connectivity and other multimedia features will be offered.

French sources suggest that the new 208 could make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in spring 2018.

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