Slippery Peugeot 208 Hybrid concept

27 August 2013

Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE rear

Peugeot has been busy working with supplier Total on a concept edition of its 208 hatchback, which achieves a remarkable 49g/km CO2 result without the aid of a mains charging cable. It also promises performance sufficient to get to 62mph in just 8.0 seconds.

While it isn’t destined for showrooms the 208 Hybrid FE is set to grace next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, providing pointers to potential fuel-saving measures for future Peugeots.

Most noticeably, the 208 Hybrid FE has gained a new hatch and rear lamps, substantially extending the car’s silhouette at the rear and contributing to a very slippery drag co-efficient below 0.25 – or about 25% better than the standard 208, which boasts a quite competitive Cd figure of 0.29. Other aerodynamic measures include a rear axle narrowed by 40mm, a flat underbody, hidden door handles and rear-view cameras in place of door mirrors. The tyres are also unusually tall and narrow, a trick borrowed from the BMW i3 electric car.

Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE wind tunnel

Around 20% of the 208’s weight has been shed by replacing various body panels – including the floor – with composite equivalents, some fashioned from carbon fibre.

Under the new plastic bonnet sits a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine producing 68bhp. It has been extensively modified for economy, and comes mated to a 30kW (40bhp) electric motor. The motor provides regenerative braking while also standing in for the starter motor and even for the transmission’s reverse gear. A small 0.56kWh lithium-ion battery provides the energy store for hybrid operation, bolted alongside the petrol tank under the rear seats.

Peugeot 208 Hybrid FE front view

The end result is a CO2 figure about half that of a standard 68bhp 208 hatchback. Peugeot says changes to the engine and gearbox account for 20% of the improvement, hybridisation for 40%, and aerodynamics and weight loss the remaining 40%. On the performance side, the diet, tyres and aerodynamics have trimmed the 0.62mph dash by four seconds from the base 208’s 14 seconds, while the hybrid powertrain cuts another two seconds.

No word on the cost of all these mods, of course. Expensive, no doubt, in a one-off – but surely not too bad in production guise in a few years’ time...

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