Well, this is a nice, unexpectedly chunky surprise, isn’t it? You’re looking at the latest Peugeot 208, and in a segment full of cars that aren’t exactly bold in the styling department, the French machine should stand out well with its short overhangs and those huge light bars on its 508-like face. We dig it.
It’ll come with the usual complement of internal combustion engines, with buyers given the choice of a 1.2-litre inline-three petrol with either 73, 98 or 128bhp, plus a 98bhp 1.5-litre inline-four diesel. Arguably more interesting, however, is the electric version.
Rather imaginatively called the ‘e-208’, it’s driven by a 100kW motor. This motor is powered by a 50kW battery which sits neatly under the floor, giving the electric 208 the same luggage capacity as its conventionally-powered siblings.
Peugeot hasn’t given any performance figures for the e-208 (or the fossil-fuelled versions, for that matter), but the company has revealed that it’ll do 211 miles on the WLTP cycle. Not bad at all.
When it comes to topping up the battery, you’re looking at a tedious 20 hours to fully charge via a standard UK plug socket, a much more reasonable eight hours when using a home-installed wall box, or just 30 minutes for an 80 per cent fill at a 100kW public charger.
The 508 inspiration continues inside, with a cabin that looks very much like a downsized version of the saloon’s, and that’s no bad thing. A digital instrument cluster is paired with a seven-inch central touchscreen, which can be increased to 10-inches in the options menu. Peugeot has stuck with its controversial binnacle-over-wheel layout here, though.
There will inevitably be a 208 GTI at some stage, which has the potential to be very, very good. The base 208 is 30kg lighter than the old one, making it a great starting point, and the punchy new shape will no doubt look great with sporty addendum. And let’s not forget how sharp the final versions of the previous-generation 208 GTI were.
As for the standard version of the 208, it’ll make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, before going on sale late summer 2019.