Still glowing from their win at Pikes Peak, Peugeot is about to show off something completely different; a 135 mpg B-segment car (on the European cycle) that can still break the automotive Mendoza Line and hit 60 mph in 8 seconds.
The 208 FE as its known, is a pretty radical car compared to a base 208; Peugeot took a 1.0L 208 (0-60 time of 14 seconds in standard trim) and replaced most of the bodywork with aerodynamically enhanced carbon fiber panels. Also helping to save weight and space are a 5 gallon fuel tank (compared to the standard car’s 13 gallon unit) and a carbon “blade” which replaces the springs, shocks and anti-roll bars both front and rear. All told, this cuts 440 pounds out of the car, bringing weigh down to 1705 pounds. Even the brakes have been uprated to solid caliper Alcon units solely to allow for less effort when slowing the car down.
On the powertrain front, the stock 1.0L engine gets a bump up to 1.2L – horsepower hasn’t been disclosed, but the concept car made 68 horsepower. Not very much, but considering the car’s weight, as well as the 40 pony boost from the on-board hybrid system (from the Peugeot 908 HDi LeMans car), the car has a pure electric range of between 9 to 12 miles. Power is routed through a 5 speed automated manual gearbox.
The end result is 135 continental mpgs and just half the CO2 emissions of a Prius (a mere 49 grams per kilometer). Peugeot won’t be putting this car into production, but the one-off example will be driveable. From a technological standpoint, there’s a lot to like about this car; a lightweight “warm hatch” that has decent performance but astounding fuel economy. Even with all of the modern hybrid and carbon fiber tech onboard, the 208 FE probably delivers similar numbers to something like a Peugeot 205 GTI (said to hit 60 mph in 7.6 seconds) while being exponentially more efficient. Does it deliver the same purity behind the wheel? I doubt it. But that’s not its mission either. The 208 FE is an interesting exercise in building an extremely fuel efficient car that isn’t a rolling advertisement for one’s proclivity to shop at a food co-op. Based on that alone, I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating wheat germ crackers.