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Geneva show: Updated Peugeot 208 uncovered

New tricks: The new 208 may only receive slight styling changes, but a new six-speed automatic and two new variants should give the little Pug a boost in Australia.

Fresh-faced Peugeot 208 to be joined by two new variants to help broaden appeal


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20 Feb 2015

PEUGEOT has lifted the lid on its facelifted 208 light hatch ahead of its public unveiling at the Geneva motor show next month and its Australian launch in the fourth quarter of the year.

The mid-life refresh includes a number of styling tweaks, technology updates and new drivetrain options, but is highlighted by the introduction of the GT Line, and new-to-Australia Access variants.

The GT Line inherits styling traits from the flagship 208 GTi, including red highlights on the front grille, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, black exterior mirrors and chrome accents along the windows and exhaust pipes.

In the cabin, the GT Line adopts higher-grade materials, with red and black accents throughout, including red stitching on the seats, gear lever and steering wheel, and blackened door handles and sports seats.

Adopting Peugeot's 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the 208 GT Line will have sportier looks than regular variants while still remaining frugal at the bowser.

Although no details for the Australian 208 Access have been confirmed, the international version serves as the starting variant in the range. Engine options range from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol to a 1.4-litre diesel engine.

Styling tweaks include a redesigned front bumper, with a wider grille and revised fog-lights, new two-tone headlights and updated alloy wheel options, along with new-look tail-lights the French car-maker is calling “technological jewels.”

Peugeot has retained the seven-inch touchscreen, ultra-small steering wheel and unique instrument cluster layout, while updating soft-touch materials throughout the cabin.

The French car-maker is also introducing Active City Brake, an automatic braking system for speeds below 32km/h, MirrorScreen, the ability to duplicate a smartphone display onto the 208's infotainment system and a reversing camera, available in selected variants.

A new Aisin-sourced six-speed automatic transmission will also replace the dated four-speed self-shifter to improve fuel economy and occupant comfort.

Peugeot Australia general manager John Startari said the new 208 will help boost sales of the French car-maker's entry-level model.

“While final model line-up and specification is to be finalised, the new-look 208 range will also bring with it a new model line-up for Australia with Access and GT joining the existing Active, Allure and GTI models,” he said.

The 208 has had a strong start to 2015, with 79 units shifted in January, up from the 59 sales it recorded in the same month last year.

However, last year Peugeot recorded 857 sales which represented a 14 per cent drop when compared to the 996 units shifted in 2013 – the model’s first full year on sale.

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