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Frankfurt show: Peugeot unveils hybrid RCZ

Hybrid too: Peugeot's new RCZ sports coupe will be shown at Frankfurt in diesel-electric hybrid form.

Peugeot raises hybrid stakes with diesel-electric RCZ concept and 3008 HYbrid4

20 Aug 2009

A HYBRID version of the awesome RCZ coupe looks set to be among Peugeot’s first wave of diesel-electric models to reach production early next decade.

Although the RCZ HYbrid4 is a concept for now, the French manufacturer has wasted no time in transplanting the all-wheel-drive diesel-electric powertrain from its forthcoming 3008 HYbrid4 five-door hatch – which is based on the same platform as the RCZ – into its all-new image-leading four-seater coupe.

Both vehicles will make their world debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month, with the 3008 HYbrid4 appearing in near-production form ahead of its launch in the first half of 2011.

If it proves successful, the coupe and other models based on the same vehicle architecture – the 308 and 308CC, to name two – are expected to follow it to market, sharing the showroom limelight with a still-to-be-named all-electric urban vehicle due at the end of 2010.

Full specifications of the diesel-electric powertrain are still to be announced, but based on basic details released this week – and recent concepts such as the 2008 Prologue and Citroen Hypnos – PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s HYbrid4 system is known to include a conventional 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, with an electric motor at the rear axle powering the back wheels.

23 center imageLeft: Peugeot's 3008 HYbrid4.

Developed in conjunction with Robert Bosch GmbH, this “parallel architecture” enables alternate (FWD/RWD) or simultaneous (AWD) operation of the HDi engine and the electric motor, allowing emissions-free rear-drive motoring for short periods over a limited range and, most of the time, either front-drive or AWD propulsion.

Maximum power for the diesel engine and electric motor combined is 147kW (200bhp), while maximum torque is quoted as 300Nm at the front wheels and 200Nm at the rear.

Peugeot has not provided fuel consumption figures for its latest models, preferring instead to emphasise their low CO2 emissions, which are a mere 99g/km in the near-production 3008 HYbrid4 and down to 95g/km in the lighter and more aerodynamic RCZ.

As a guide, Peugeot claimed that the bigger Prologue HYbrid4 could return 4.1L/100km and CO2 emissions of 109g/km, which indicates that the 3008 and RCZ versions will offer less than 4.0L/100km.

The manufacturer would only say this week that its latest models offered a “breakthrough” 35 per cent reduction in terms of both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, compared to conventional engines with an equivalent power output.

It did, however, emphasise that the HYbrid4 solution, with its rear-mounted electric motor design, ensured “technical and economic viability” thanks to the preservation of the engine compartment – meaning that it could be used to accommodate both diesel and petrol engines of varying size.

“Because progress means little unless it can be shared by the greatest number, Peugeot intends eventually to develop a range of HYbrid4 vehicles offering renewed driving enjoyment and exceptional environmental credentials to enhance performance and roadholding, but also through the automatic and unobtrusive operation of the combined powertrains,” the company said.

“The new Frankfurt motor show gives Peugeot the opportunity to reaffirm its responsible approach of placing high economy and low CO2 emissions vehicles at the heart of its product policy: to offer today an attractive, competitive product range with a small carbon footprint, and to prepare for the future with the introduction of radical new technologies.” As GoAuto has previously reported, Peugeot and Citroen’s hybrids are not guaranteed for release in Australia because of the high costs involved in developing and manufacturing the Hybrid4 drivetrain.

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