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Future models - Peugeot - 108

Geneva show: Peugeot reveals 108 city car

New baby: The Peugeot will come with three- or five-doors, and even a novel fabric roof.

Peugeot outs its VW Up- and Fiat 500-rivalling 108 hatch ahead of Geneva debut

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Peugeot logo17 Feb 2014

PEUGEOT has revealed the 108, a micro-sized hatch rival for the Volkswagen Up that is also available with a unique retractable fabric roof a la Fiat’s 500 Bambino.

The smallest Peugeot will be available in three-or five-door configurations, with power coming from 50kW 1.0-litre and 61kW 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engines. Peugeot also promises an upmarket cabin that reflects the brand’s new premium positioning, though we’ve yet to see images.

Due to go on sale in Europe within a few months, the 108 will make its premiere in-the-metal at the Geneva motor show on March 2. Details on an Australian launch, however, remain scarce.

PR and communications manager for Peugeot’s Australian distributor Sime Darby, Jaedene Hudson, said the local market’s planning team was studying whether the car would be viable here, and had yet to make a decision one way or the other.

Company product planners will no doubt take heart from the success of Fiat’s 500 here since it received a big price cut in June last year. Sales of that car climbed a scarcely believable 376.2 per cent year-on-year.

At the same time, however, Volkswagen Australia has struggled to make significant inroads with the Up, despite keen sub-$14k pricing and class-leading safety features. The company sold just 15 units in January, and 50 last December.

One of the key reasons for the Up’s slow sales is the lack of an automatic transmission option. The 108 is available with an ‘electronic’ robotised manual – effectively an automatic – but only with the smaller 50kW engine.

Following in the wheeltracks of its trimmed-down 208 big brother, the 108 weighs a mere 840kg. Dimensions are miniscule – at 3470mm long and 1620mm wide the three-door is even smaller than the Up – while the turning circle is a city friendly 9.6 metres.

The novel fabric top, meanwhile, measures 800mm long by 760mm wide – enough to cover most of the roof – and is electrically adjustable. With a spare wheel, rear cargo space is 180 litres, growing to a decent 750L with the 50:50 rear seat folded down.

Peugeot has withheld interior images for some reason, but says the cabin echoes that of a larger car. Expect to see a take on the 208’s tiny steering wheel, with instruments viewable above the rim.

Features include a seven-inch touchscreen and keyless start, and can also run applications on phone operating systems including Apple iOS, Android, Windows and RIM. Six airbags and two rear ISOFIX latches are standard.

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