Next month at the 2014 Paris Motor Show Peugeot will unveil a new concept, or Demonstrator, version of the 208 hatchback capable of returning 141 mpg or two litres per 100km. It is called the Peugeot 208 HYbrid Air 2L, and as the name clearly suggests, it uses the firm’s hybrid-air technology.
PSA’s hybrid air system is kind of mysterious in the way that it uses a mix of petrol and compressed air instead of petrol and electricity in the normal hybrids. 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 real world effectiveness of this system is yet to be verified, but French engineers have not relied only on this system to make the Peugeot 208 HYbrid Air more efficient. The car is based on the 208 1.2-litre PureTech 82hp 5-seater Hatchback whose weight they have managed to reduce to 860kg in the Demonstrator by using a mix of steel, aluminium and composites in its construction. Carbon composites are used for the body panels, sides, doors and roof, along with the coil springs providing suspension.
If only half of the new technologies used in the Peugeot 208 HYbrid Air make into a production model it will be great news for the fans of small and efficient hatchabcks, especially as the car does not compromise on looks, comfort, or equipment for the sake of economy.