Peugeot Working On 1700 LB Hot Hatch Good For 135 MPG

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
peugeot working on 1700 lb hot hatch good for 135 mpg

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.

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4 of 6 comments
  • CJinSD CJinSD on Jul 05, 2013

    "a carbon 'blade' which replaces the springs, shocks and anti-roll bars both front and rear." Transverse leaf spring meets marketing. This, like the Pike's Peak run, is an effort to convince a suitor that Peugeot has technology worth acquiring. Were I running a car company, I would send people to fact find in the name of due diligence. What they'd really be doing is finding out which soon-to-be unemployed engineers are worth hiring when they hit the street.

    • See 1 previous
    • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Jul 06, 2013

      what gslippy said. Still, a car that can do a quick run to 60 and get 135 mpg is damn interesting. This is twice what the old Honda Insight--1900-some lbs, I think--gets. With a car this light (as with the Insight) there is potential for some damn fine handling. This car's happy message is that even if gas gets to $15 or $20/gallon before I check out, there will still be fun, affordable driving.

  • Dimwit Dimwit on Jul 05, 2013

    So this is a race for the finish line before the bankruptcy line?

  • ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
  • ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
  • Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
  • Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
  • Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.