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by Matt Brogan

Peugeot will next month celebrate the 75th anniversary of its invention of the retractable steel roof when it releases the all-new 308 CC.

Peugeot was the first car manufacturer to feature an electrically retractable steel roof on its 401 Eclipse, a car built in collaboration with the designer Paulin, Peugeot concessionaire Darl’Mat, and coach-builder Pourtout.

Only 79 examples of the 401 Eclipse (pictured below) were ever built and it remains one of the most iconic vehicles of its time. In the years to follow the same technology was applied to 301, 402 and 601 models.

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For modern CC fans, the all-new 308 CC will feature Peugeot’s award-winning 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission and will also boast a five-star EuroNCap rating.

“The technology has come a long way in 75 years; to the point where this version opens or closes in 20 seconds,” said Peugeot Automobiles Australia’s General Manger/ Director, Ken Thomas. “While the Eclipse’s distinctly art deco appearance marks it as a classic design of its time, the sculpted lines of the 308 CC mark it as a masterpiece of today. The innovation behind Peugeot introducing an electric retractable steel roof in 1934 can be traced through to Peugeot introducing the world’s first side head airbag in the 308 CC in 2009. Over 10 per cent of Peugeot sales in Australia are coupé cabriolets – proving that the concept invented by Peugeot 75 years ago continues to grow in popularity today.”

The 308 CC will begin arriving in Peugeot dealerships in July.




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