The Paris Motor Show is a key to the start of a new series of Motor Shows around the world, and anyone who is anyone in the car manufacturing world wants (and needs) to be there. After the summer break, it’s back to work for the movers and shakers in the automobile industry, and where better than autumn in Paris? (Apart from springtime in Paris, but let’s not get picky here!)
The Peugeot stand, in its home country, covers 3,900m2 and will be covered with 40 production vehicles and concept cars, including not only the Onyx Concept Car and 301 and the 2008 Concept, but also no fewer than ten 208 models.
Making its first ever bow in Paris is a ‘special 208’ model that also reveals Peugeot’s new ‘City Park function’ that, according to the blurb, helps “technology into everyday use with its segment-leading use of this equipment.”
With the City Park function, the driver can choose whether or not he/she wants to parallel park left or right and select the manoeuvre on the touchscreen. The longitudinal and lateral sensors find a suitable parking space (good luck with that in a supermarket or Cinema complex car park – it takes ME ages!) and then the car steers into the space, with the driver operating gearbox, accelerator and brake. Whether or not it still stops people waiting to get past you gesturing and shouting obscenities through their windscreen, it doesn’t say!
And, with the City Park, the ‘special 208’ also comes with a Peugeot Connect App that is also available on all other 208s. This contains ten applications that are aimed to make the life of a driver so much easier by offering make the driver's everyday life easier by details on such things as the price of fuel at service stations and the spaces available in nearby car parks.
And then, taking over from the 207 Super 2000, the 208 Type R5 also debuts in Paris; a welcome addition to enhance Peugeot's sporting pedigree: after the 208 R2. This will be going on sale in the second quarter of 2013 around the same time that it competes in its first races, hoping to achieve both national and international victories in the following season. It’s sure to be a great attraction in Paris, nonetheless.
Back in March, at the Geneva Motor Show, Peugeot introduced the 208 XY and 208 GTi Concept cars, and now they are in production and ready to be revealed again, in all their completed glory in the French capital, 6 months before they hit the forecourts.
Peugeot claim that the 208 XY and 208 GTi are “new and clear illustrations of the Marque's range enhancement strategy.” Both offer three-door body style, special grilles and light signature at the front, exclusive 17" alloy wheels, and powerful and economical petrol and e-HDi engines, the XY from 92bhp to 155bhp and the GTi a 1.6-litre THP 200 engine coupled with a manual gearbox with six close-ratio gears.
Another new car that visitors to the Peugeot stand will be able to see and admire is Peugeot’s new compact sports coupé, the RCZ, which already has had 44,000 orders prior to its going on sale later this year. With everything new from front face, body colours, wheels, arch colours, and internal details that can be personalised, it’s no wonder.
In fact, Peugeot have already moved onwards and upwards from the RCZ with the ‘RCZ R Concept’ also premiering in Paris in its matt black and copper livery and announcing the rise of the ‘RCZ R’, with a new 1.6-litre THP engine with a power output of 260bhp, making it the most powerful production model in Peugeot's history.
When it comes to HYBRID CARS, Peugeot have also been busy moving forwards.
They have three hybrid models - the 3008 HYbrid4, 508 RXH and the 508 HYbrid4 – all of which have already established themselves as customer favourites, especially the 3008 HYbrid4 with its choice of its four modes (Automatic, ‘Zero Emissions Vehicle’, Sport, 4WD) and exceptionally low fuel consumption.
Besides promoting the cars that are available now (or soon), Motor Shows also are used to show off Concept Cars – some of which, depending on response, may never get built – and Peugeot have some exciting ideas on show.
For a start, they believe that “the stunning Onyx Concept Car will not fail to grab the attention and imagination of visitors to the Peugeot stand.”
And what’s not to imagine but good about 20" wheels, a V8 hybrid HDi 3.7-litre 600bhp engine in a rear central position, six-speed sequential gearbox and, get this, a ‘double-bubble’ glass roof revealing the carbon structure and an innovative passenger compartment; a pod formed from a taut piece of felt so the occupants become one with a uniform part. And the dashboard and centre console are made from compressed used newspapers, making it so green that even Kermit is jealous.
Staying Onyx, next up is the Onyx Concept Bike, an ultra-light superbike and the three-wheeled hybrid supertrike Onyx Concept Scooter.
Admittedly, these first three concepts are more pie-in-the-sky rather than commercial so, to stay commercial, Peugeot are also presenting Peugeot 301 and 2008 Concepts at Paris.
The 301 is a comfortable family saloon, which will be available in both petrol and diesel versions, and is aimed at Eastern Europe and Middle East markets (eventually China), while the 2008 Concept is a compact Urban Crossover vehicle intended for the young city dwellers of Sao Paulo or Shanghai, Paris, London or Moscow, who love the city – but also love escaping from it. Now there’s a tag line for an advert if ever I heard one.
Peugeot are, don’t forget, on home ground in Paris, so they’ll expect a home win at the very least.