Australia will have to wait until 2012 for its first taste of diesel hybrid technology, with the local launch of the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 put back due to a delay in the hot-weather testing phase of its development.

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The 3008 HYbrid4 crossover – the world’s first diesel hybrid vehicle – was expected to go on sale in Australia before the end of the year, but Peugeot Automobiles Australia’s Kirin Tipping said a 2011 launch was now almost certainly off the cards.

“We were looking at having it here by the end of the year but unfortunately that’s looking less likely,” Ms Tipping said.“We’ve been pushing, but the French have been pushing back.”

She said Peugeot now expected the 3008 HYbrid4 to join the Australian range in the first quarter of 2012 after the hot-weather testing was completed this year.

The 3008 HYbrid4 combines a 120kW/300Nm 2.0-litre HDi diesel engine with a 27kW electric motor. The diesel engine powers the front wheels and the electric motor drives the rear wheels – making it a four-wheel drive. Maximum power output is 147kW and 500Nm of torque.

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Ms Tipping said Peugeot Australia had hoped to bring some pre-production vehicles to Australia to be a part of the hot-weather testing and development process, but she admitted it would most likely be carried out in Spain and other warmer climates closer to France.

Despite being disappointed by the news, Ms Tipping said it was the responsible course of action from the parent company.

“I think they’re taking the approach that they’d rather get it right the first time, considering that its brand new technology,” she said.

Ms Tipping was hopeful Australia would get its first look at the 3008 HYbrid4 at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne in July, and believed the vehicle was a “very good chance” to make an appearance.

She said Peugeot Australia was keen to bring the 3008 HYbrid4 cross-section display to Melbourne to give Australians a better insight into the world-first technology.

The news comes as Peugeot announced the first 300 Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 vehicles it manufactured would be trimmed in a special Limited Edition specification.

The Limited Edition models will be distinguished by their dark tined headlamps with integral chrome LED daytime running lamps, Pearl White exterior body colour and chrome door handles.

Inside, the Limited Edition will feature special two-tone leather trim, leather fascia and a leather steering wheel with aluminium detailing. A full-length panoramic roof, front and rear parking sensors and a numbered aluminium plate on the centre console complete the special features.

Peugeot is now taking orders for the 2011 Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 Limited Edition model in overseas markets (none are coming to Australia). It is priced at £29,995 ($48,200) and will be delivered to the UK in October.

The standard production Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 will hit UK showrooms in November, with prices starting from £26,600 ($42,750).

The non-hybrid 2011 Peugeot 3008 is currently available in Australia, with prices ranging from $35,790 to $42,990.