PSA Peugeot Citroen may be experiencing extremely challenging times of late but that isn’t going to stop the group from putting on a good show for the Geneva Motor Show.
In fact it seems that the French car group’s displays will be one of the biggest highlights at next month’s show, with a host of intriguing new concepts to show off.
After reporting record losses of €5 billion in 2012, you might have expected that the firm would be would be feeling rather sheepish but instead its Peugeot brand is about to put on a bold show of 31 new concepts and production vehicles, including two new electric hybrids and a number of 208 supermini-based models.
2008 HYbrid Air and 208 HYbrid FE
Just as the Citroen brand will be displaying the group’s innovative HYbrid Air technology, fitted to a Citroen C3 (see story), so the Peugeot brand will demonstrate how the technology would work fitted to its new 2008 concept.
Developed in association with Bosch, the new hybrid system works by using compressed air for energy storage rather than a battery, making it a lightweight and more affordable approach to hybridisation.
The new 2008 B-segment crossover vehicle will also be displayed with e-HDI diesel and three cylinder petrol engines, which will be available on the model when the car launches later this year. With these engines, emissions will be as low as 98g/km CO2. Order books for the Peugeot 2008 open at UK retailers in June and the new car will officially go on sale later in the summer.
But it is not just the new 2008 which will show off new hybrid technology. The 208 hatchback will also be shown in 208 HYbrid FE form, with emissions as low as 49g/km CO2. Developed in association with Total, the new concept will use a petrol/electric hybrid powertrain and feature specially formulated advanced engine fluids. Despite having emissions two times lower that the efficient 208 1.0 litre VTi, the new HYbrid FE will boast strong performance with a 0-62 mph time of just 8 seconds-almost as quick as the 208 GTi.
To round off the new 208 line-up, the new 208 XY and 208 GTi models bring a little excitement to the range. The new XY concept is designed to bring exclusive, high style to the range, with distinctive headlights, exclusive 17 inch alloy wheels and a reworking of the cabin materials and colours.
Finally, some true sport car credentials, with a new RCZ R concept, which will give the strongest clues yet as to what we can expect from the final production model. The coupe will benefit from bespoke suspension and wheels, plus a Torsen limited slip differential. It will feature a new 1.6-litre THP 260bhp engine, with an efficiency that will set a new industry benchmark for this class of car. The target is for a specific power of 160bhp/litre, among the highest in the world for a production vehicle, and emissions expected to be just 155g/km.
A last touch will be the display of the Onyx concept car. Under its lightweight carbon shell, there is a 3.7-litre 600bhp V8 HDi hybrid engine which is mounted in a rear central position and mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox.
The 4.65m long model rides on 20-inch wheels and despite its sporty appearance, has a focus on all things eco. New materials inside help to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability including the use of ‘newspaper wood’, produced from compressed used newspapers and used to shape the dashboard and centre console.
Peugeot says its Geneva display will demonstrate how it plans to move the brand more upmarket, with modern designs and clever technology to enhance desirability. The brand is also placing great importance on cutting CO2 , already offering an average of just 121.6g/km CO2 across its whole range. Hopefully it will be enough to boost the firm’s deflated sales.
All of Peugeot’s new models will be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next month, which runs from the 7-17 March, 2013.