Peugeot will unveil a new 208 Hybrid Air concept car at the Paris motor show next month. The car is an evolution of the 2008 Hybrid Air prototype, and is Peugeot's answer to a challenge set by the French government to put a car into production by 2020 which is capable of returning 50kpl (European cycle).
The conceptis based on the 1.2-litre PureTech 82 208.Peugeot's engineers have reduced the 208's kerb weight from 960kg to 860kg, mainly by replacing part of the standard car's steel construction with composites and aluminium. A new composite floor-pan is fitted, while some elements – such as the tailgate – have been redesigned to incorporate new materials. Carbon composites are also used for much of the 208's bodywork.
The standard car's 1.2-litre Puretech 82 petrol engine and five-speed manual transmission have been replaced by a hybrid drivetrain based on a mixture of petrol and compressed air.The system comprises a compressed air tank mounted below the boot coupled to a pair of hydraulic pumps and a new epicyclic transmission. Within the 1.2-litre engine itself, friction reduction and the use of new low-viscosity oil has improved efficiency by four per cent.
In terms of styling, the 208 Hybrid Air concept is lower than the standard car, and features revised air intakes, new bodywork to improve air flow around the windscreen, plus a rear spoiler.Traditional side mirrors are replaced by rear-view cameras, while slimmer tyres developed by Michelin are also fitted.
Both the 208 and 2008 Hybrid Air concepts show Peugeot's ambition to bring a hyper-efficient model to international markets, but the technology is understood to be at least three years away from production. Peugeot has previously said it would need at least one other big partner to buy into the technology before it can be put into road cars.