Peugeot's parent company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, has been working for a while on a drivetrain that would hybridize a conventional engine with compressed air rather than batteries. The powertrain would include a hydraulic pump that allows the car to run in all-gasoline, all-air or combined modes, which is where the name "Hybrid Air" comes from. Peugeot now says its compressed air hybrid powertrain can get almost 100 miles per gallon and one that's built into a Peugeot 208 hatchback will start rolling off production lines by 2015 at the earliest.

The French automaker that the light B-segment car can achieve 97.3 mpg and emits just 69 grams of CO2 per kilometer. To compare, the most efficient non-Hybrid Air 208 – the 1.4 e-HDi – emits 87 g/km. The hybrid's drivetrain is electronically controlled and automatically selects the best power source for current driving conditions.

Peugeot recently showed off 208 Hybrid FE Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Originally supposed to get the equivalent of 111 mpg and emit only 49 g/km of CO2, Peugeot thinks it could actually achieve up to over 141 mpg since it will be built with lightweight materials. Not bad for a cute hatchback that can get up to to 62 mph in eight seconds.


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