• Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
  • Image Credit: AOL - Jonathon Ramsey
One of the more intriguing automotive technologies on the market is PSA's Hybrid Air drivetrain, which is being shown rather prominently at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in both the Citroën C4 Cactus Airflow 2L and in this, the Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air 2L.

The gist of the Hybrid Air system is this: rather than mate a gas-powered engine with an electric motor and battery pack, the 208 Hybrid Air 2L uses a compressed air tank underneath the trunk, a low-pressure tank near the rear axle and a hydraulic system in the engine bay.

In the 208 Hybrid Air 2L, that compressed-air system is paired with a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine. So equipped, this particular "tech demonstrator" can run on any combination of power sources, including in a zero-emissions, compressed-air-only mode. Like the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, the result of this powertrain is impressive, with the 208's fuel consumption ringing up at just 2.0 liters per 100 kilometers of travel, or about 117 US miles per gallon (equal to the C4 Concept's 141 European mpg).

Other fuel-sipping features include a slashing of the 208's curb weight to just under 1,900 pounds. Meanwhile, Peugeot has followed Citroën's example and fitted a number aerodynamic aids to its fuel-sipping hatchback, including cameras in place of wing mirrors, a large, narrow wheel/tire package and a lowered ride height.

Take a look up top for our live gallery of images of Peugeot's super-efficient 208 Hybrid Air 2L, and then scroll down for full press release from the French manufacturer and a video from our friends at the Autoline Detroit.
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PEUGEOT technologies: introducing efficient Euro 6 engines and the 208 HYbrid Air 2L demonstrator

PEUGEOT is rising to today's challenges through an innovative approach to environmental efficiency. The new Euro 6 petrol and diesel engines make its vehicles among the best in their category. Even more impressive is the fact that this performance has been achieved while ensuring the highest standards of driving pleasure, in keeping with PEUGEOT requirements. The brand is unveiling its new range of Euro 6 engines on the PEUGEOT 208 and 308 hatchbacks, the new 508 sedan, the PEUGEOT 2008 and 3008 crossovers, and the PEUGEOT 5008 MPV. The PureTech and 1.6-litre THP petrol engines, like the BlueHDi diesel, are generously equipped with Stop & Start technology. They are coupled with PEUGEOT's highly effective, robust third-gen Efficient Automatic Transmission 6 (EAT6). These advances have reduced the average weighted CO2 emissions of PEUGEOT's European range, which stood at 111.2 g/km at the end of May 2014, compared with 115.1 g/km in 2013, making the brand one of Europe's cleanest automakers and putting PSA Peugeot Citroën at the top of the CAFE ranking. PEUGEOT is continuing in its efforts to achieve the goal of 2 l/100 km by 2020 by showcasing the PEUGEOT 208 HYbrid Air 2L demonstrator at the Paris Motor Show.

PureTech engines: new 110 hp version and EAT6 transmission for the 130 hp version

In 2014, the 110 hp and 130 hp turbo engines are set to expand the PureTech family of next-generation three-cylinder petrol engines. They make their debut on the PEUGEOT 308, which was voted European Car of the Year for 2014.

Previously equipped with six-speed manual transmission, the PEUGEOT 308 1.2-litre PureTech 130 S&S is now available with a new EAT6 six-speed automatic gearbox (AT6 III). A paddle-shift option is also available on the steering wheel with the Driver Sport Pack. This is the first time that PEUGEOT's Stop & Start technology has been combined with automatic transmission for a petrol engine.

EAT6 has already been used with 2.0-litre BlueHDi engines (AM6 III). Designed and developed in partnership with AISIN AW, the world's leading manufacturer of high-quality automatic transmissions, the new system offers the highest level of comfort and convenience: Quick Shift technology ensures fast, smooth shifting, with a state-of-the-art converter ensuring effective drag reduction. Efficiency is further improved by less internal friction and the use of lock-up clutch converters to prevent any slippage.

The PEUGEOT 308 1.2-litre PureTech 130 S&S EAT6 achieves fuel consumption of 4.9 l/100km and 114 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 2 l/100 km and 45 g/km of CO2 compared with the earlier 1.6-litre VTi 120 BVA model.

The PEUGEOT 308 range will expand to include the 1.2-litre PureTech 110 S&S turbo by the end of the year, boasting consumption of 4.6 l/100 km and 105 g/km of CO2.

1.6L THP engine: efficient, effective next-generation Euro 6 technology

The new PEUGEOT 508 showcases a new Euro 6 engine in the shape of the 1.6-litre THP 165 S&S, married to a manual six-speed gearbox or the new six-speed EAT6. Developed to meet the new Euro 6 emissions standards, its specifications also include improved fuel efficiency and performance.

The new petrol power plant with direct injection is based on the Prince engine developed in partnership with BMW and replaces the 1.6-litre THP 155 Euro 5 power plant, gaining 10 hp in the process and cutting CO2 emissions to 129 g/km, improving on a best of 144 g/km for the previous generation.

The new turbo design helps to ramp up the power and improve pick-up at low revs. Pressure has been boosted from 120 bar to 200 bar to improve fuel injection, which enhances the combustion process and significantly reduces unwanted emissions. The increase in pressure, with a new angle for the injection nozzle, dual injection and a high-pressure start also significantly reduces particulate emissions.

The improvement of approximately 18% in fuel consumption compared with the previous model is the result of:

- The introduction of Stop & Start technology;

- The increased efficiency of the EAT6 automatic transmission system;

- Optimal management of electrical and hydraulic energy (on-demand water pump and variable capacity oil pump);

- Reduced friction inside the engine due to carbon covering for the piston skirts, derating, piston pins coated in Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) and fine machining of camshaft bearings.

Following the 1.6-litre 270 seen on the PEUGEOT RCZ R early in the year, the 1.6L THP 165 S&S is the second 1.6-litre power plant to meet Euro 6 standards and will also feature on the PEUGEOT 3008 and 5008 by the end of the year.

A third 1.6-litre Euro 6 engine developing 208 hp will make its debut on the PEUGEOT 208 GTi 30TH by the end of the year.

BlueHDi engines: the most efficient diesel emissions-control technology the market with a one-year lead over Euro 6 requirements

The 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 coupled with a manual six-speed gearbox has helped the PEUGEOT 308 and 308 SW set a new record for fuel consumption in their segment in spring 2014, achieving 3.1 and 3.2 l/100 km, respectively, representing CO2 emissions of 82 and 85 g/km.

The 1.6-litre BlueHDi 120 features a number of PEUGEOT models in the B, Mini Crossover B and Compact Crossover C segments:

- The 208, with fuel consumption starting out 3.6 l/100 km and 94 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 0.2 l/100 km and 5 g/km compared with the 1.6L e-HDi 115, is one of the best in the B segment among cars with a similar engine capacity;

- The 2008, with consumption starting at 3.7 l/100 km and 96 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 0.3 l/100 km and 9 g/km compared with the 1.6L e-HDi 115, setting the record in the large B segment;

- The 3008, with consumption starting at 4,1 l/100 km and 106 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 0.7 l/100 km and 19 g/km compared with the 1.6L e-HDi 115, tops the rankings in the large C segment and has set the record in the same segment for a manual transmission;

- The 5008, with consumption starting at 4.2 l/100 km and 109 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 0.5 l/100 km and 15 g/km compared with the 1.6L e-HDi 115, is one of the leaders in the large C segment.

After initially unveiling the new engine on the 508, then on the 308 and 308 SW, PEUGEOT has since equipped other vehicles in the large C and D segments with the 2.0-litre BlueHDi:

- On the new 508, the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 BVM6 boasts CO2 emissions of just 105 g/km for the sedan and SW and has made its mark as the best technology in the D segment among cars with a similar capacity;

- On the new 508, the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 180 EAT6 achieves 111 g/km of CO2, offering one of the best trade-offs between power and consumption in the segment;

- On the 3008, the 2.0-litre BlueHDi 150 achieves 4.4 l/100 km and 114 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 0.9 l/100 km and 25 g/km compared with the 2.0L HDi 150, making it one of the best compromises between power and consumption in the large C segment;

- On the 5008, the 2.0L BlueHDi 150 achieves 4.3 l/100 km and 113 g/km of CO2, an improvement of 1 l/100 km and 25 g/km compared with the 2.0-litre HDi 150, making it one of the best trade-offs between power and consumption in the large C segment.

Since the end of 2013, PEUGEOT has been using the most efficient emissions-control technology on the market for all its diesel models. The brand's exclusive combination of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) and a particulate filter with additive reduces NOx emissions from new-generation diesel engines by up to 90% and optimises CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, all while eliminating 99.9 % of particulates.

The BlueHDi offers two key advantages:

- SCR, allowing engine settings to be optimised for the best fuel consumption and specific performance, contrary to the emissions control solutions that operate at source and NOx traps, which adversely affect fuel consumption and CO2 emissions;

- the installation of the SCR upstream of the FAP with additive allows faster treatment of emissions from engine start-up.

The BlueHDi technology already comfortably meets the Euro 6 Diesel emissions standard and presents the best potential for meeting future emissions standards.

208 HYbrid Air 2L technology demonstrator

In addition to the aforementioned technologies, PEUGEOT is applying its skills across the gamut of automotive applications to continuously lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The weight savings achieved on the 208 and 308, which respectively shave off 110 and 140 kg on average, have helped reduce fuel consumption to just 3.4 and 3.2 l/100km for diesel models. Petrol equivalents stand at 4.1 and 4.6 l/100km.

Continuing its proactive approach, PEUGEOT is showcasing its 208 HYbrid Air 2L technology demonstrator at the Paris Motor Show. The demonstrator provides a snapshot of the full range of technologies used in meeting the government's goal of achieving a fuel efficiency of just 2.0 l/100 km. The project includes one unknown quantity, however: it must be possible to affordably manufacture relevant technologies on an industrial scale by 2020.

As a result, the demonstrator sets the bar high with the bid to halve the consumption of an already highly efficient 208!

Achieving this goal requires a focus on a number of key factors. Even shedding the slightest gram of CO2 is a huge challenge. According to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), a 1 g reduction corresponds to:

- a weight reduction of 10 kg;

- or a 50 W reduction in electricity consumption;

- or a 6 N reduction in rolling resistance;

- or an improvement in SCx of 0.03 m².

What is more, a 1% improvement in engine efficiency can reduce CO2 by the same amount.

The 208 HYbrid Air 2L technology demonstrator is based on the mass-production model, the 208 1.2-litre PureTech 82 BVM5, which has the following specifications:

- consumption: 4.5 l/100;

- CO2 emissions: 104 g;

- weight: 960 kg;

- SCx: 0.65 m².

To lower fuel consumption to 2.0 l/100km, PEUGEOT engineers and project partners used technologies previously reserved for competition and luxury models. They embarked on a meticulous selection process to choose only those compatible with existing production facilities and a high manufacturing output. In addition, the process involves reducing consumption without altering the car's characteristics, retaining a style synonymous with high-end products and services.

A weight of just 860 kg

The series-production PEUGEOT 208 makes extensive use of steel in both the structure and trim of the vehicle. With a density of 7,850 kg/m3, the use of alternative materials such as composites and aluminium offers real potential. They provide density in the region of 1,200 kg/m3 for a carbon composite and around 2,700 kg/m3 for aluminium. However, it is not always possible to replace a steel part with a similar part made of aluminium given the need to take into account the mechanical properties and cost of materials.

This use of multiple materials in the design process creates a real challenge. The goal is to assemble vehicles using a mix of steel, aluminium and composites while developing new assembly technologies. This is one of the focal points of the project.

The steel structure houses a new floor pan made of composite materials that helps to absorb energy in the event of a collision. These materials undergo electrophoretic deposition (EPD) during the manufacturing process, creating a composite floor that comprises three parts bonded using thermoplastic technology.

The stiffness of the composite materials is also used to simplify the design of some parts. The tailgate features a "semi-structural" design that consists of a skin and a lining with a thickness of 1.5mm to prevent torsion. This eliminates the need to add additional strengtheners in flat areas by optimising the direction of the carbon fibres in relation to the direction of the forces acting upon them. The stiffness and reduced density have also made it possible to remove one of the two stabiliser jacks to further reduce weight. A groove is also moulded into the lining to accommodate the electrical cables and reduce the number of fasteners.

Carbon composites are used for the body panels, sides, doors and roof, along with the coil springs providing suspension. In the latter case, the use of composites has a positive impact on dynamic handling by reducing unsprung weight.

The engine mounting, rails and side members are made of aluminium, a metal with good kinetic protection. Oxidation naturally covers the aluminium in a fine layer of aluminium oxide, which protects it against deep corrosion. Aluminium can also be recycled without altering its mechanical properties.

However, the campaign to reduce weight has not focused solely on the use of new materials; it has also sought to redesign existing parts. This has led to changes in the thickness of the stainless steel exhaust system, enabling a 20% improvement on this part alone.

Based on a particularly lightweight mass-production 208, the 208 HYbrid Air 2L demonstrator achieves significant weight savings. Changing materials, redesigning parts and introducing new processes has shaved some 100 kg off the weight of the vehicle.

A drive train that combines efficiency with driving pleasure

The standard 208 1.2-litre PureTech 82 has a petrol engine and five-speed manual transmission. This has been replaced by a hybrid drive train featuring a mix of petrol and compressed air. HYbrid Air technology combines two types of energy to achieve greater efficiency depending on the driving conditions. The compressed air is used to assist and even replace the petrol engine to enable maximum efficiency during transition phases, such as acceleration and starts.

The system comprises:

- a compressed-air tank below the boot;

- a low-pressure tank near the rear axle acting as an expansion chamber,

- a hydraulic system consisting of a motor and a pump in the engine bay.

They hydraulic system features bespoke epicyclic transmission to strike the right balance between the two different energy sources. This replaces the manual transmission to enable automatic shifting.

The two tanks are found at the rear of the vehicle, consisting of an aluminium core to ensure watertightness, covered in a composite skin to add strength.

The monitoring system will select the mode that offers the greatest efficiency for the driving conditions encountered, displaying all information to the driver.

In Air (ZEV) mode, the car runs on compressed air alone. This method of driving does not consume fuel and gives off no CO2 emissions, making it ideal for urban environments. In Petrol mode, the car is powered only by the petrol engine. This is more suitable for travelling at a steady speed on main roads and motorways. The Combined mode is designed for transition phases in urban environments and on the road, such as standing starts and acceleration. It draws on the two energy sources in proportions adjusted to achieve optimal fuel consumption.

The compressed-air tank is recharged when slowing down (while braking or taking the foot of the pedal) or by use part of the energy developed by the three-cylinder petrol engine to compress the air. Both methods can achieve maximum pressure in just ten seconds.

The latest three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech 82 petrol engine ensures optimal performance, especially in reducing loss caused by friction. This represents around 20% of the power used by the engine. To reduce such effects, the two camshafts and pistons are covered in a special Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating. The engine oil used in conjunction with new polymer bearings has very low viscosity to quickly reach optimal engine operation. These changes have improved engine efficiency by 4%.

A naturally efficient style

Fluidity is a hallmark of PEUGEOT style; part of its DNA. The 208 has been all about efficiency from the outset and has undergone only a few updates to fine-tune the car's aerodynamics. The 208 HYbrid Air 2L offers a number of improvements to reduce drag. It adopts a lower stance with air intakes that allow just the right amount of air into the engine.

Flow is further improved through the addition of trim to create a seamless transition between the struts and the windscreen. The rear features a tailgate spoiler and an air extractor below the body of the car. This allows the air to flow freely below the car thanks to the efficient underbody fairing.

The wings reveal a camera tucked into a sleek housing that combines style and efficiency in place of the standard mirrors and surrounds. The large-diameter wheels sport aerodynamic hub caps.

The innovative tyre design is another factor contributing to the overall performance. The choice of materials and the tread design allow a combination of slim width and large diameter. All of this helps to improve the aerodynamics and the rolling resistance of the tyres.

Other design benefits include: improved absorption when driving over uneven surfaces, better resistance to aquaplaning and more effective soundproofing. The resulting SCx is a real breakthrough! Engineers and stylists achieved improvements of over 20% without compromising on cabin or boot space!

An automotive industry initiative

In France, the automotive industry provides 800,000 direct jobs through with a range of employers including manufacturers, subcontractors, equipment suppliers, distributors, dealers and service providers. The French government is keenly aware of the strategic importance of the industry to the national economy, and has taken steps to set up a Plate-Forme Automobile (PFA).

The PFA is tasked with drawing up a clear outlook for medium- and long-term challenges across the entire industry and organising relevant initiatives in response to these issues.

The 208 HYbrid Air 2L technology demonstrator is part of this campaign, developed with the help of a number of PFA partners including Faurecia, Michelin, Plastic Omnium and Valeo.

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