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by Matt Campbell

Meet the Peugeot 108 – the French brand’s all-new pug-nosed sub-compact city car that could come to Australia has just been revealed.

The new 108 replaces the 107 and sits below the 208 hatchback, competing with the likes of the Volkswagen Up! and Fiat 500. In kind with both of those respective models, the 108 is available with three or five doors, and there’s also a model known as the 108 Top! which features a roll-back fabric roof.

The petite Peugeot’s styling carries over the brand’s new design language, with a stubby front-end, a prominent and masculine grille, and an aggressive front bumper giving it something of a menacing stance. The car’s short overhangs help make it look compact (and improve its handling, according to Peugeot), and like the 208 above it, the 108 features a chrome window-line strip that makes it look larger than it really is. The rear end hosts large tail-lights and a blacked-out class section below the rear windscreen reminiscent of the VW.

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Peugeot is following the lead of some of its rivals by focusing heavily on personalisation. The brand says the car will “cater for every taste”. There are eight colours for the exterior, while the 108 Top! model’s fabric roof can be had in black, grey or purple. A two-tone finish can be optioned for the three-door model, and there are seven “personalisation themes”, three interior colour packages and six trim levels. 

“The new Peugeot 108 participates in the brand’s product offensive and move up-market, with a rewarding and outgoing spirit, emphasised by the personalisation schemes expected by customers,” said Xavier Peugeot, product director for the brand.

The Peugeot runabout utilises plenty of lightweight technologies, and in its most lithe specification weighs just 840 kilograms. It measures only 3470 millimetres long and 1620mm wide, and Peugeot claims it has a small turning circle of just 9.6m.

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Peugeot’s engine lineup for the car consists of only three-cylinder engines.

There’s a 1.0-litre e-VTi version with 51kW of power, stop-start and a five-speed manual transmission that has a claimed usage of around 3.7L/100km; a 1.0-litre VTi without stop-start that uses about 4.2L/100km and has the same power outputs and is available with a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed “electronic” automatic; and a range-topping 1.2-litre PureTech VTi with about 60kW and fuel use close to 4.5L/100km, the same as is seen in the entry-level 208 and 2008 models.

No interior shots of the car have yet been released, but Peugeot claims the cabin “feels like it has come from a much larger premium car”, and the 7.0-inch touchscreen media system with Bluetooth connectivity and a new smartphone mirroring adaptive info screen will be the central focal point. As with the VW Up! and the just revealed new Renault Twingo, rear seat passengers get pop-out windows rather than wind-down glass as a means of saving costs. The boot of the 108 is 196 litres, and can expand to 750L with the seats down.

The 108 Top! model’s roof measures 80cm wide and 76cm long, with controls positioned above the rear-view mirror. It can be opened “to any position”, and has an air deflector to “reduce cabin turbulence”.

Safety is accounted for with six airbags (dual front, front side and curtain airbags), and the rear seats have ISOFIX child seat fitment points. All models also has a tyre pressure monitoring system and hill-start.

The Peugeot 108 will make its public debut at March’s Geneva motor show.




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