What would you say to a hybrid B-segment car that weighed 1700 lbs, emitted half the carbon emissions of a Toyota Prius and still hit 62 mph in 8 seconds?
In a couple weeks time, Peugeot will debut a new version of their 208 subcompact, dubbed the HybridFE. The starting point is a base 208 with a lethargic 1.0L 3-cylinder engine making 68 horsepower. With a 14 second 0-60 time, one could read an entire Foucault book on the construct of the sociosexual panopticon and still just hit 58 mph.
But Peugeot, channeling Chapman, has ripped out 440 lbs from the car, bringing its curb weight down to about 1700 lbs, from the base car’s 2150 lbs. A hybrid system, an automated manual gearbox, low-rolling resistance tires and a special aerodynamics package have been added to help increase efficiency and aerodynamic properties.
The end result is still a 68 horsepower 208, but one capable of a very respectable 8-second sprint to 62 mph, while emitting just 49g/km of CO2 – about half of what a Toyota Prius emits. For comparison, vehicles than emit less than 100 grams are eligible for exemption from the London congestion charge, since they are considered low emissions.
The one caveat here is that Peugeot hasn’t released any pictures so far. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see that light weight engineering is far from dead. It’s certainly more realistic than their compressed-air hybrid system.