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Peugeot Patents New Textured Matt Paint

Peugeot Patents New Textured Matt Paint

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Peugeot has quietly shown off a new textured matt paint, which has a granular feeling to the touch. It will be available to the public on the newly updated Peugeot 208, which we reported on a few weeks back. Check out the revised 208 here.

This newly-patented paintjob still uses the same method of the primer, base colour and anti-corrosion chemicals, but adds a different type of lacquer. This new lacquer contains tiny particles of silica, which give the colour its matt finish, and a second substance, which Peugeot is calling “micro-balloons of polyamide”, which give the paint its textured finish.

Besides looking and feeling nicer, this matt paint is easier to look after than the ones currently available on the market. It is more hard-wearing and easier to care for than traditional matt paint, whilst also providing more resistance to micro-scratches.

For the moment, this new textured paint will be available in two colours, namely Ice Grey and Ice Silver, but if these prove popular, we might see more colours on the way too. It is also the same price as Peugeot’s ordinary pearlescent colours (at least in the UK) at £645, which is a nice touch.

Alternatively, you can opt not to go for this matt paint, and go for the new “Orange Power” colour option mentioned in the link above.

Peugeot Sport and Their Hybrid Sorcery

Peugeot Sport and Their Hybrid Sorcery

This week the Shanghai Motor Show has opened its doors to the world. If I am honest, I was not expecting anything particularly exciting, because all the cars there are either vehicles designed exclusively for the Chinese market or else Chinese copies of European cars. This year, however, Peugeot Sport has gone and created something truly incredible.

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Here it is, and it is call the Peugeot 308 R Hybrid Concept, and I will not mince my words here, it is awesome. Peugeot Sport, makers of the 908 Le Mans racer, the RCZ R and 208 GTi 30th Anniversary, have taken the 1.6 litre engine from the RCZ R, wedged two electric motors on the front and rear axle, to result in a car producing 493 bhp.  0-62 mph happens in 4.0 seconds and power is sent to all four wheels. Quite simply, WOW.

The R Hybrid has four driving modes, Hot Lap, Track, Road and ZEV.  The “Hot Lap” mode uses all of the car’s available resources, pushing out all 493 bhp from the petrol engine and both electric motors, while “Track” mode uses only 395 bhp, making use of just rear electric motor and the petrol engine. Whilst in “Track” mode, the front electric motor acts as a booster under hard acceleration. “Road” mode uses the petrol engine, supplemented by the rear electric motor for acceleration, amounting to 296 bhp. “ZEV” is when the car runs just off the electric motors. Peugeot has not given a range for pure electric travel, and I don’t blame them. Nobody cares about the “ZEV” mode.  If you are interested, the batteries will charge fully on a fast charger in 45 minutes.

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The exterior shouts performance, with massive air vents painted white. Peugeot’s new signature sports paint scheme has made a reappearance, this time in a rather fetching blue and matte black combo.  The paint apparently has tiny glass particles, which gives the car that extra shine. Interestingly, the paint used is normally only used on French race cars, which is also a nice touch.

The interior is a clear adaptation of the ordinary 308’s interior. There are new tan sports seats, and a new fabric lining the dashboard. It looks less like a concept flight of fancy and more production ready. Could we see a 500 bhp Peugeot in the near future?

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Sadly no, this car will remain a concept. However, the big heads at Peugeot have said that a more powerful 308 is coming, presumably using the 276 bhp 1.6 litre engine out of the RCZ R, and will probably be called the 308 GTi. The hybrid technology could also see the light of day too. Carlos Tavares has stated that future performance Peugeots will use electric motors to supplement the performance of the petrol engine. All of which is cracking great news.

Expect to see the 308 GTi within the next few months, and in the mean time, spend your every waking hour praying and hoping this R Hybrid makes production. I want one more than I want my next breath.

 

Citroen C4 Cactus; Simple but not Budget?

Citroen C4 Cactus; Simple but not Budget?

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Citroën is set to embark on a new strategy for their C-line cars, that of creating good everyday cars with useful features for everyday use, without any frills .

This does not mean budget like Dacia, the cars will be reasonably priced and supposedly have the range of features expected in today’s world, such as air con, electric windows, satnav and so on, but no extra features like lane departure warning and radar guided cupholders. Fair enough, a car for people who want a car. A thing which takes you from A to B, comfortably. So not a car to set the pulse racing then.

 The C-line needs to be something different to the hugely popular DS-line , but still be interesting and relevant enough to sell.Citroen argues that there is a market for cheap cars which are honest workhorses for those individuals who see cars as white goods. They regard cars as a means to an end, nothing more, nothing less. They do not go out for drives, they do not take the time to get to know their car. They use it like a washing machine. When it works they use it, when it stops working, they replace it. There is no emotional involvement.

It therefore makes sense for Citroen to tackle this segment of the market in the same way that Volkswagen does with Skoda. Outside the world of petrolheads, the DS, the 2CV, the SM, the Mehari and the Traction Avant mean nothing. Probably to those outside the car world, Citroen means nothing, and I am willing to bet that Citroen want to utilise that to their advantage, and create another image for themselves.Time will tell whether they prove successful or not, but as ideas go, this is an interesting one.

So how does this strategy start? The first car to attempt this new milestone in Citroen’s history is the C4 Cactus. Silly name I know, but bear with me. As I just said there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the car,no massaging seats, no massive turbocharged engine. it’s just a car. As my dear mother likes to say, four wheels and an engine. It does have these bumpers with air pockets, designed to protect the car against rebellious trolleys in supermarket car parks, and the back pillar resembles that of the DS3. Both these details are quite interesting I suppose, though not interesting enough to make me want to buy this car.

Dig beneath the surface, and things become rather interesting. This car weighs 965kg, or 60kg less than a Ford Fiesta. Citroen is on a mission with this car to remove any unnecessary stuff within the car. The dashboard is designed with simplicity and elegance in mind. There is no rev counter, no centre console, the rear seats do not split and rear windows don’t even open. Why have they done this, you might be asking. All in the pursuit of saving weight. The engine line-up is quite a modest one, with the most powerful petrol engine producing 108bhp. However, because it is so light, the power-to-weight ratio is quite high. Also, in keeping the power output low, costs will be kept at a minimum too. In the UK, this car will have a starting price of about 13,000 sterling, about the same price as a mid-range Ford Fiesta.

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The Citroen boss also said that the C-line will not have powerful engines like the DS line, in a bid to keep costs low. He argues that a more powerful engine would require bigger brakes, re-tuning the suspension and so on, adding to the costs, and thus raising the showroom price, and price is key when you want to attract customers.

Another fascinating feature is that this car might also introduce a new method of car ownership, whereby one may rent the car for a period of time at a fixed rate. Whether this will work or not, I have my doubts, I want to own my cars, not rent them. Then again I am not exactly the type of buyer they are looking for, so my opinion on this particular matter does not really count.

I am quite fascinated to see how this new direction pans out for Citroen. It is quite a no nonsense approach to cars, something that Citroen used to do brilliantly with cars like the 2CV. I do hope it works out for them, and then the money they make off these cars can be put to making wacky cars.. Like say a Citroen DS5 Coupe with the Hybrid four-wheel drive system and a retractable glass roof maybe? I would very much like to see that.

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New Peugeot 108 Revealed

New Peugeot 108 Revealed

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This is the new Peugeot 108, a car aimed to take on the might of small cars like the Fiat 500, the VW Up! and Kia Picanto.

The 108 follows the same basic principles as the 107 which came before it. The 108 will be based on the same platform on the next generation Toyota Aygo and Citroen C1. It will also be built alongside these two models in the same factory in the Czech Republic.

The new 108 aims to be the lightest car in its class, weighing as little as 840kg, and comes in three and five-door models. The surprise here is that the three-door will also be available with a retractable fabric roof, in the same style as a Fiat 500C or Citroen DS3 Cabriolet. This new car is less cutesy than the outgoing 107, and has a more upmarket look to it. The new design features elements from its current design language, such as a smaller front grille and “lion’s claw” taillights.

In a bid to make the new car feel more upmarket, the car will be available with options like a 7 inch touchscreen, keyless entry, push button start and automatic air-conditioning. This touchscreen uses “Mirrorlink” system to connect to your smartphone and use the smartphone through the car’s touchscreen. There will also be an internet radio service made available, known as “Peugeot Music.”

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The car will be available with a choice of two petrol engines. A 1.0 litre engine, producing 68bhp and emitting just 97 g/km of CO2 in standard set-up, then an e-VTi emitting 88 g/km of CO2.  There will also be a 1.2 litre unit, producing 82bhp and emitting 99 g/km of CO2. No diesel engines are planned for this car as EU regulations would make diesel engines of this size too expensive to develop. These engines can be mated to either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

On the whole, its a great step forward for Peugeot’s city car. The 107 has been rather long in the tooth for quite some time now, and was in desperate need of updating. The new look could very well tempt buyers from the Up! and the 500, and offering it upmarket features like a 7 inch touchscreen and keyless entry will make this car stick out from the rest of the crowd.