Superminis are big business for European automakers, and Peugeot has just released its latest salvo in the form of its new 208.

Available in both three- and five-door body-styles, the 208 represents a complete overhaul of the French carmaker's core model. Its wheelbase is the same as the 207 it replaces, but while overall exterior dimensions have shrunken, Peugeot says interior volume has increased.

Meanwhile, weight has decreased, and the new 208 range is motivated by a pair of 1.0- and 1.2-liter gasoline engines with about 75 and 100 horsepower, respectively, designed to replace the 207's 1.4 and 1.6 models, with a range of five diesel engines paired with stop-start ignition and hybrid assist on most models to return exceptional fuel economy and emissions figures.

The new Pug range is certainly distinctively styled, particularly the three-door shown above, with its sculpted doors and unusual chrome trim flourish at the rear of the windowline (a treatment not shown on the family-oriented five-door). The interior is no less interesting, with unusual ambient lighting elements on select models and a premium-look dashboard.

Peugeot is also expected to roll out a 208 GTI based on the three-door that promises to channel much of the beloved 205 GTI hot hatch's sporting characteristics in the new form. That may still be a year away, but for now, you can check out the standard models in the high-res image gallery and the press release and video after the jump.

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In the spring of 2012, Peugeot will launch its new model in the 'B' (Supermini) segment. The new car will be available in two distinct body styles; 3- and 5-door.

Today, when creating a vehicle capable of appealing to and uniting a wide variety of customers with ever changing expectations, simple renewal is no longer enough. Therefore, from the outset, the 'A9' Project adopted the most ambitious specification overhaul ever undertaken by the Marque to create a vehicle that represents a true generation leap.

Peugeot has not hesitated to rewrite the rulebook, with the desire to reinvent the principles on which the success of icons like the 205, 206 and 207 were built and to 're-generate' them, to create: The Peugeot 208.

"The 208 is a new illustration of the Marque's project launched two years ago, representing a new stage in Peugeot's desire to drive itself towards ever greater modernity."
Xavier Peugeot, Marketing and Communication Director, Automobiles Peugeot

"With the 208, Peugeot has given itself the means to recreate an icon."
Laurent Blanchet, Product Range Director, Automobiles Peugeot

Architectural re-generation

The 208 embodies the principles of agility and efficiency. The initial technical choices make it a vehicle which is light (110kg lighter on average compared to the 207, and as much as –173kg! with a range which starts at 975kg), aerodynamic (Cd of 0.29, CdA of 0.61), and very compact (-7cm in length, -1cm in height). These benefits are accentuated by noticeably increased occupant space, with more room in the rear seats (+5cm at the knees) and a more generous boot (+15 dm3 in volume), proof of optimised architectural performance.

Stylistic re-generation

The 208 gives form to and refines the new aesthetic codes of the Marque. 'Floating' grille, light signature, 'boomerang' rear lamps - each detail is designed in complete harmony with the balance of the car, structured by a 'spine' the impression of which is even visible on the roof. Sculpted, athletic, pure and sophisticated, its style projects the Marque towards a renewed and attractive modernity, suggesting sensuousness and energy, smoothness and mischief. The two body styles have been given entirely different treatments, with the style of the quarter panel of the three-door version recalling one of its illustrious older siblings.

"The strength of the 208 lies in its style: it is a real ball of energy. It has the potential to please everyone, like a popular piece of music that touches the human soul regardless of culture."
Gilles Vidal, Style Director, Automobiles Peugeot

Ergonomic re-generation

The interior continues the promise of innovation just like the exterior style. A true break from what has gone before, beyond the recognised technical constraints and cultural references, the instruments and controls have been completely re-thought to become entirely intuitive and clear. They are positioned around a small steering wheel, combined with an elevated instrument panel giving information at a glance and a large touch screen. This 'ensemble' connects with its occupants and contributes to the practicality, the safety, the quality and purity of the interior design, as well as to the driving sensations.

Environmental re-generation

By achieving average CO2 emissions of 34g/km lower than the 207, the 208 takes the lead in its segment. Its latest generation engine technology and the use of the e-HDi micro-hybrid system on virtually all versions add to the vehicle's improvements in terms of weight reduction and aerodynamics.

With five models, four of which are equipped with the new generation Stop & Start System (e-HDi), the diesel range starts at 87g/km of CO2 (delivering fuel economy of 83.1 mpg) and never exceeds 99g! The 208 introduces a new range of 3-cylinder petrol engines, 1.0- and 1.2-litre VTi, which are particularly efficient, with a range starting at 99g/km of CO2 (delivering 65.7mpg).

The environmental performance of 208 continues, with 25% of 'green materials' (recycled or of natural origin) making up its mass of polymers, it enters a new era in terms of eco-design. As a world first, the rear bumper and the fan assembly are made entirely using these materials. This type of bumper alone will permit a saving in manufacturing of 1600 tonnes of fuel a year.

Re-generation of the driving experience

The 208 renews the driving experience, a key factor in the DNA of every Peugeot:
- Due to the small steering wheel which provides new ergonomics, the driver experiences a completely new driving agility,
- Due to a new level of engineering between comfort and road holding, the result of the historical expertise of the Marque in terms of suspension and the benefits from the compactness and reduced weight of the vehicle.

The new Peugeot 208 will be launched in mainland Europe in the spring and for the UK in the summer of 2012.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice! Too bad we'll never see it in the US.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think that C pillar flourish is supposed to be evocative of the 205's C pillar indentations/vents. I like it. The first thing I thought of when I saw was "205." It's really too bad the French gave up on selling their cars in the USA. When I grew up, tons of people in my Connecticut town drove Peugeots—403s, 404s and then 504s.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not bad, looks like one of the only superminis that was actually designed. I like Peugeot's style lately.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Most of the superminis today are "actually designed". Just take a look at the Fiat Punto, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Audi A1, Seat Ibiza etc, all of them are beautiful cars IMO
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a low of awesomeness in a little package.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It looks a bit like a yaris odly from the front quater angles.. Good design though.
      • 3 Years Ago
      great! peugeot just found their way back to good design. no more terribly big grins! good job
      • 3 Years Ago
      great looking little car
      Bryan Riddle
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't quite understand how this can be a supermini considering they also have the 107 in their product portfolio - would that one be a super-duper mini?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Bryan Riddle
        "Super" refers to it being a larger than a minicar or city car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      never understood why the americans don´t acept this kind of vehicles. they are surely enough for the 1,2 people that drive their car every day, and despite not being powerfull, their 75-100hp do the job with no embarrassment...everyone would win!people would save money, they are safe,confortable, polute less and easier to park...
        • 3 Years Ago
        Because American's like everything BIG, BIGGER and BIGGEST. Unfortunately for small hot hatch lovers this is the case. American's also equal small to cheap. Which is ridiculous.
          • 3 Years Ago
          I'd like for you to refer to the demand that the Fiesta is receiving, as well as the orders of the Sonic pouring in. Both of these little cars are selling quite well, so well that Ford added a shift at the facility where the Fiesta is manufactured just so they can meet the demand.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As far as the design goes, great job Peugeot! I don't know what happened to the design team after 206, 206 did take the Europe in storm back in the day and that car has lasted time so well. Used by singles, moms, younger people and ricers. This imo seems to finally catch part of magic.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Beautiful design--and of course no way to get it over here. At least legally.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Absolutely Hideous design, im shocked how people here have regarded it as good looking?? seriously? goes to prove you cant go wrong with a design, there will always be people who want it!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Given how poor your grasp of English is, I wouldn't regard your opinions with any degree of credibility either.
          • 3 Years Ago
          who the hell are you to judge my english? And what does that have to do with whether or not my oppinions matter you racist retard? I know 3 languages for your information, and I am a car designer, so my opinion is no doubt far greater than yours.
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