Although only a handful are offered Stateside, Coupe-Cabrios – a.k.a. folding-hardtop convertibles – have been gaining popularity overseas. The new Peugeot 207 CC succeeds the 206 CC, which parent group PSA claims is the world's best-selling application of the best-of-both-worlds concept with over half a million sold since 2001. The 207 CC goes on sale across the pond in March 2007, when it will be offered in two trim levels – Sport and GT – with a choice of two gasoline engines – 1.6-liter units producing 120 naturally-aspirated horsepower and 150 turbo horses respectively – and an HDi diesel with 110 hp, all driving through a 5-speed stick-shift (or an available 4-speed Porsche Tiptronic on the 120-hp gas engine).
The folding roof – designed and manufactured in-house by PSA – is now fully automatic, forgoing the manual release on its predecessor. The 207 CC also offers 2+2 seating and leather interior trim, both features not commonly found in the supermini convertible segment. Overall, the styling strikes us as a particularly potent application of Peugeot's new shark-like design language.
Automakers will often be judged by motor-heads on one factor: how close a car company can make their production cars look compared to the concept. In other words, how much worse. We expect some concessions towards reality – production feasibility, safety standards and the like – to hamper the smooth lines and show-stopping curves of a show car before it reaches the showroom. But if you ask us, the production version of the Peugeot 207 CC looks even better than the 207 ePure concept that previewed its proportions.
(Hi-rez images and full press release after the jump.)
[Source: PSA Peugeot Citroen]
THE PEUGEOT 207 CC: Opens a world of new experiences
* Replaces the World's best selling Coupé Cabriolet – The Peugeot 206 CC
* Styled by Peugeot's in-house design team
* Powered by two petrol engines and one HDi diesel
* New fully automatic electric folding roof
* Class leading safety equipment fitted as standard on all models including an active roll over protection system
* Two trim levels – Sport & GT
* On sale March 2007
It was in the 1930s that Peugeot started the innovative concept of the Coupé Cabriolet, with the 401, 601 and 402 "Eclipse". This concept was to become one of Peugeot's trademark features and today's cars, the 206 and 307 CC have made the marque the No1 seller of Coupé Cabriolets, with today world wide sales of more than 500,000 vehicles, since 2001.
The car, that changed the UK convertible car market for ever, was the Peugeot 206 CC. Launched in the UK in January 2001, the 206 CC broke new ground with regards to technology, manufacturing and cost.
It brought a Coupé Cabriolet with an electric folding roof into the price range of everyone, not just the preserve of the prestigious car market segment. Its introduction saw it transform the UK market for convertible cars and become the best-selling convertible car in the UK for three consecutive years. Its success, however, is world wide, with more than 360,000 units produced it is the world's best selling small Coupé Cabriolet.
Now the Peugeot 207 CC takes over from the legendary Peugeot 206 CC.
As with the 207 hatchback the 207 CC shares the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group's No1 platform and the "Sport" exterior styling found on the hatchback sport models. Styled by the Peugeot Style Centre, like the 206 CC the 207 CC shares the same 2+2 type architecture, but has the following dimensions:
* Length - 4.037 m
* Wheelbase - 2.540 m
* Width - 1.750 m
* Height - 1.397 m (75 mm less than the hatchback)
A Family of State-of-the-Art Petrol and Diesel Engines
The 207 CC will be available at launch with two petrol engines and one diesel engine. The range will consist of:
* EP6 – 1.6 litre 16v petrol engine producing 120 bhp
Following the launch of the 1.6 litre 16v 150 bhp THP turbo-charged (EP6DT) engine launched in the 207 GT THP 150 hatchback, the EP6 is the second engine created from the co-operation between PSA Peugeot Citroën and the BMW Group. It has a maximum power of 120 bhp at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 118 lb ft at 4250 rpm. It has a very flat torque curve with 88% of the maximum torque available from only 2000 rpm, thereby ensuring excellent driveability.
* EP6DT – 1.6 litre 16v THP petrol engine producing 150 bhp
Launched in the 207 GT THP 150 hatchback, the 1.6 litre 16v turbo-charged THP engine, standing for "Turbo High Pressure", now finds its second application in the 207 CC. The engine offers incredible driveability through its maximum torque of 177 lb ft available from an engine speed of only 1400 rpm and its power of 150 bhp at 5800 rpm. Its innovative Twin-Scroll turbocharger and variable valve timing system, combined with direct petrol injection ensures a remarkably efficient combination of performance and fuel consumption.
* DV6TED4 – 1.6 litre 16v HDi DPFS diesel engine producing 110 bhp
From its launch, the 207 CC will also benefit from the fitment of Peugeot's Euro IV 1.6 litre HDi diesel engine, which provides both dynamic performance and low fuel consumption. It has a maximum power of 110 bhp at 4000 rpm and a maximum torque of 177 lb ft from 1750 rpm, or 192 lb ft with the over-boost function. To ensure the minimum of particulate emissions the engine is also fitted with a diesel particulate filter system (DPFS).
All the engines are combined with a 5-speed manual gearbox.
A 4-speed automatic gearbox with a Porsche System Tiptronic sequential control is also available on the new EP6 1.6 litre 16v 120 bhp petrol engine.
A New Electric Folding Roof
The electric folding roof for the 207 CC has been designed in-house and is the result of Peugeot's expertise in the design and manufacturing of Coupé Cabriolets. It has been designed against a rigorous specification in terms of quality and operating durability.
The roof is assembled in a dedicated production facility at PSA Peugeot Citroën Group's Madrid manufacturing plant, and is then sent to the 207 CC assembly line, inside the same plant.
With a similar operation as the 206 CC, the 207 CC roof, however, differs significantly in terms of convenience thanks to its entirely automatic operation, no more manual release handles. The only manual operation consists of pressing the control button for around 25 seconds, during which time the opening or closing cycle is completed; after all four windows have been lowered automatically. To ensure optimal roof sealing and to assist the opening of the doors, the electric front windows are equipped with an "automatic window drop" system.
A Rigid Structure
Since the overall driving pleasure of a cabriolet depends greatly on the car's rigidity, particular attention has been paid to this essential aspect of the vehicle's design. The torsional rigidity of the 207 CC with a torque of 100 mdaN applied to the "axles" is 1 mrd in the coupé configuration and 1.50 mrd in the cabriolet configuration.
The excellent body rigidity allows the suspension to operate to its full potential, thereby strengthening the overall driving experience and pleasure. The 207 CC retains the hatchback's wide front and rear track and uses the same suspension, steering and braking set up.
Class Leading Safety
The 207 CC offers its occupants a comprehensive level of passive safety. To limit injury as a result of a front impact, the structure of the 207 CC has been strengthened to compensate for the absence of a "roof" superstructure. This is combined with a dual front-impact absorption system which, like the hatchback, distributes impact energy between an upper structure and a lower structure. The latter also helps to protect pedestrians.
To reduce the effect of a side impact, the design of the A and B posts and lower sill panels create a solid reinforced safety frame. Added protection is also provided by the doors which are extremely rigid as a result of a strengthened upper panel and a tubular reinforcement bar.
To protect occupants when the 207 CC is in the Cabriolet configuration an active roll-over protection system is a standard feature of the 207 CC's safety specification.
Five airbags, three of which have been designed specially for the 207 CC, are available to protect the occupants:
* Two adaptive front airbags;
* Two "head-chest" side airbags located in the side of the front seats;
* A steering column airbag designed to protect the driver's lower limbs.
For child safety, the front passenger seat of the 207 CC is equipped with a 3-point Isofix attachment system.
The 207 CC is fitted with sport seats which provide a driving position lower than that of the hatchback, thereby meeting the expectations of Coupé Cabriolet users.
A real 2+2, the 207 CC offers additional seating compared to a strict two-seater, which sets it apart and widens its potential customer base. The front seats can be easily tilted to gain access to the rear passenger seats.
The passenger compartment of the 207 CC proves both a luxurious place to be with its high quality materials and interior trimming, but also provides a dynamic ambience as expected by drivers of Coupé Cabriolets.
Also available as an option and the ultimate expression of sporting luxury, "Integral leather" is rarely found in the small car segment. With this option the fascia panel and seats are both covered in leather with visible saddle stitching, a further sign of the very exclusive character of this trim option.
With its regular cube-like shape, the boot of the 207 CC accommodates a "space-saver" spare wheel and also offers a volume (VDA) of 370 dm3 (449 litres of water) in the Coupé configuration, and 145 dm3 (187 litres of water) in the Cabriolet configuration, under the load space cover blind which separates the area for luggage, from the area needed to accommodate the folded roof.
The 207 CC comes with either manual or automatic dual-zone air conditioning, allowing the front occupants to individually control their ideal temperature. The air conditioning system has been designed to detect when the vehicle is being operated in the Cabriolet configuration, so that it can adapt its operation to the chosen body configuration.
The 207 CC can also be equipped with a fragrance diffuser (seven fragrances are available) perfectly integrated in the fascia panel, the operation of which has been patented.
The 207 CC can be fitted with the following in car entertainment equipment:
* An RDS RD4 CD car radio – with or without a Bluetooth hands-free phone kit;
* A colour RT3 telematic system comprising an RDS car radio, a GSM telephone and a GPS satellite navigation system with colour cartography combined with a 7" 16/9 multifunction display;
* A JBL Hi-fi system.
Two traditional Cabriolet accessories will also be available for the 207 CC, a wind stop and a boot rack.
The 207 CC will go on sale in March 2007 and prices will be announced nearer the date.