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Future models - Peugeot - 2008

Peugeot might drop wagon for small crossover

On the up: Peugeot's Urban Crosover Concept is thought to preview the 2008 SUV.

208-based SUV previewed by Peugeot Urban Crossover Concept in Beijing

Peugeot logo27 Apr 2012

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in IN PORTUGAL

PEUGEOT is expected to release a Nissan Juke competitor over the next 18 months as a replacement for the slow-selling 207 SW station wagon.

Likely to be called the 2008, it was previewed in no uncertain terms at the Beijing motor show last week as the UCC Urban Crossover Concept.

Understood to be derived from the P1 supermini platform that also underpins the recently unveiled 208 as well as Citroen’s C3 and DS3, the UCC foretells just one of a series of upcoming models to be spun off Peugeot’s important new hatch range – although what they will all be is still a tightly held secret.

Whether all end up heading to Australia is too soon to tell, but Peugeot Australia public relations manager Jaedene Hudson said her company was keen for another crossover model to join the Mitsubishi ASX derived 4008 compact SUV, which is being launched in June.

“Nothing has been decided yet,” he told GoAuto in England. “But if Peugeot does end up putting the UCC in production, we will most certainly put our hand up for it.”

23 center imageThe UCC heralds a fresh direction for the French company as it strives desperately to “gain legitimacy” in the world of SUVs with help from the 4008 – which usurps the now-defunct (and Mitsubishi Outlander-based) 4007 released three years ago. That car, by the way, will not be replaced.

However, the Beijing concept is pure Peugeot and the second such vehicle it has displayed in recent times.

Created after the 208 was locked in, and intended to highlight Peugeot’s fresh design direction as much as its desire to produce a smaller crossover, the UCC’s direct forbearer – the HR1 Concept – surfaced at the last Paris motor show in 2010.

That was powered by Peugeot’s HYbrid4 system similar to that seen in the 508 RXH, combining an 81kW/195Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo-charged petrol engine with a rear-mounted 27kW electric motor to slash emissions, provide short-range pure electric drive and part-time all-wheel drive capability.

While Peugeot’s global press and external relations manager Marc Bocque refused to confirm the UCC’s production intent as the 2008, he made it clear to GoAuto at the launch of the Mitsubishi ASX-based 4008 in Portugal that his firm had greater ambitions in the SUV segment.

“Watch what we are going to do,” he said. “There will be other interesting developments of the 208.”

A true sub-compact SUV, the UCC easily slips within the footprint of the 4008 at 4140mm long and 1740mm wide – with the latter figure being only slightly more than the 208.

It was created with heavy input from all three Peugeot design studios, in Paris, San Paolo and Shanghai, revealing the proposed 2008’s international appeal.

Although still a rarity in Australia except for the conceptually similar Suzuki SX4, the sub-compact SUV class has been massive in Latin American markets such as Brazil for years, and is earmarked as one of the global growth segments to watch over the next few years.

Alongside the aforementioned Nissan crossover, Ford has the EcoSport that debuted in production guise at Beijing after being revealed as a concept at January’s Delhi motor, while Opel has the Mokka and Renault is rumoured to be preparing its own version of the Juke.

Whether the UCC has sidelined any future 208 wagon to replace the 207 SW (which succeeded the 206 SW, but there was no 205 wagon before that except in concept car form) is unknown.

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