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Geneva show: Peugeot previews facelifted 308

Facelifted Pug: A refreshed 308 range is to be displayed at Geneva in March and Melbourne in July.

New Peugeot 308 confirmed for Oz this year, but jury still out on ‘micro-hybrid'

8 Feb 2011

PEUGEOT is on the countdown to a new-look 308 range that will make its debut at the Geneva motor show on March 1 ahead of its first appearance in Australia at the Australian International Motor Show (AIMS) in Melbourne in July.

The 308 has been refreshed with styling elements introduced on the all-new mid-sized Peugeot 508 – which will be launched for Australia at the Melbourne event – and SR1 concept coupe that is expected to provide the basis for a 2012 508 coupe.

The latest 308 is set to go on sale in Australia from about September, but Peugeot Cars Australia (PCA) is still mulling whether the newly-introduced idle-stop system – called micro-hybrid in Peugeot-speak – will make it to Australia.

The system – fitted only to a 1.6-litre HDi diesel engine in the 308 iteration – cuts the engine at idle to help reduce carbon-dioxide emissions to a class-leading 98 grams per kilometre – the same as Ford’s one-class-smaller Fiesta EcoNetic diesel.

But PCA is still deciding if customers will warm to the system, and it may forgo it and stick with the latest versions of the current powertrain line-up that comprises 1.6-litre petrol and diesel and 2.0-litre diesel engines.

23 center imagePCA’s events and promotions manager Kirin Tipping told GoAuto: “We are still doing market research on that as we speak. At this stage, it has not been confirmed.”

The micro-hybrid system is the latest development of the PSA-developed technology, even cutting fuel to the engine before the car comes to a stop. It is said to be able to reduce CO2 emissions by 5g/km, and up to 15 per cent in congested urban travel.

Engine restart is said instantaneous and free of both noise and vibration.

The hot 1.6-litre petrol GT variant – available in Europe in hatch and CC convertible models – is also still under consideration for Australia.

Ms Tipping was able to confirm that all three 308 models – the five-door hatch, Touring wagon and CC – will continue in the new range, which she said would arrive in the second half of the year after the Melbourne show preview.

The 308’s new look includes LED headlamps and running lights in a new front fascia that nevertheless retains the 308’s open-mouthed grille and muscular lines.

Peugeot says it has trimmed an average of 25kg from the kerb weight from the 308 models and fitted low-rolling-resistance tyres to some models, helping to optimise CO2 emissions performance.

This efficiency is also aided by a low aerodynamic drag figure of 0.28Cx on the fuel-sipping models with their narrower tyres.

Each model will have a minimum of six airbags, although eight airbags will be available in Europe on the top-of-the-range CC.

Right-hand drive models will be available in the UK in May.

In Australia, Peugeot sold 2827 308 hatchbacks and Tourings in 2010, down 15.5 per cent of 2009’s 3346 vehicles.

As well, it delivered 299 308 CCs – an increase of 18.7 per cent on the prior year.

Overall Peugeot sales were down 1.7 per cent to 5649 units, and PCA is anticipating a major lift with the arrival of the 508 to replace the mid-sized 407 in mid-year, as well as the facelifted 308 range in the second half.

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