Peugeot reveals bigger, greener, more premium 108

The Peugeot 108 will offer CO2 emissions as low as 88g/km.
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Peugeot says the new 108 minicar is bigger, greener and more premium than the car it replaces, the 107.

"The new 108 participates in the brand's move up-market," Peugeot Product Director Xavier Peugeot said in a statement.

The 108 will debut at the Geneva auto show next month alongside its new-generation Czech-built platform mates, the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo. The refreshed trio of minicars will be offered in three- and five-door bodystyles.

In a move designed to align the 108 with near-premium rivals such as the segment-leading Fiat 500, Peugeot will offer a range personalization options in the minicar, including six interior trims, and features such as a folding canvas sunroof.

Automakers are moving away from practical, conservative minicars in favor of near-premium models such as the 500 and the Opel/Vauxhall Adam, which have grown from zero market share a decade ago to 20 percent of the segment in 2013.

The Peugeot 108 will offer a range personalization options.

IHS Automotive expects near-premium minicars to gain even more share. "We're sure to see the number of those cars considered premium rise further, particularly with automakers offering a greater number of personalization options, which is where the profit margin is," analyst Ian Fletcher said.

The 108 only will be offered with gasoline powertrains. The engine range includes three-cylinder units with displacements of 1.0-liter or 1.2-liter. The cleanest powerplant is the 1.0-liter matched with stop-start, which produces 88 grams of CO2 per kilometer. The cleanest 107 emits 99g/km. Fuel economy statistics will be revealed later, Peugeot said.

The 108's trunk space has increased to address a criticism of the current model, which has just 139 liters of room available behind the rear seats. The 108 offers either 180 liters of trunk space if the car has a spare tire or 196 liters if it has just a puncture repair kit. The car's length has grown to 3500mm from 3400mm for the 107.

A new infotainment system, included in the Active trim level and above, connects with Android or Apple smartphones to mirror certain car-specific apps, which can be operated on the 108's 7-inch touchscreen. Voice control is also part of the system.

The new car was engineered by Toyota while Peugeot parent PSA/Peugeot-Citroen was responsible for procurement, a Toyota spokesman said.

The new Peugeot goes on sale in the summer and it forecast to be the weakest seller of the minicar trio. IHS forecasts Peugeot will sell 92,000 108s in Europe in 2015 compared with 100,000 C1s and 101,000 units of the Aygo.

You can reach Nick Gibbs at nick.gibbs@btinternet.com.

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