Being a fan of many things that were right about the current generation of Peugeot’s 107 hatch (and rebadged alternatives), I was curious to see where the manufacturer would take the new one in the face of skilled competition, changing design trends and confused customers. Nowadays, every car needs to feel like a smaller version of something bigger, more opulent, more luxurious, and that’s the promise being made through the all-new replacement for the car, the 108.
Just unveiled, it comes in two flavors, though the difference between them is only in the roof – it’s 80 cm by 76 cm, made of fabric and slides back and forth in the 108 TOP! variant; three- and five-door body styles are available.
Design-wise, you’ll immediately be able to spot it as a new Peugeot, if you’ve seen any of their latest releases that is, and its headlights look like exactly like smaller versions of the ones used in the new 308 hatch.
The interior was not made visible in any of the photos, though, and it’s a shame since that’s another place Peugeot says differentiates this car from its pleasingly Spartan predecessor – will they leave the metal exposed for this generation too?
Top-spec cars will get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control with speed limiter and a wide range of personalization options. At launch, customers will be able to choose one of eight colors, of which two are exclusive to the model: “Aïkinite is a golden copper, and Purple Berry, a stunning shade of violet.”
Three-door cars are treated to special two-tone finishes (optionally available). These combine Purple Berry and Zircon Grey or Diamond White and the aforementioned Aïkinite. The exterior ambiance can be carried to the inside too through what we presume will be interchangeable plastic trim pieces.
On the technical side, the car is pretty much the same size as before and quite light (from 840 kg or 1,851 lbs), featuring a very similar suspension setup to that of its predecessor. Brakes are disks on the front and drums on the rear.
Engines at first will be limited to two options, bot with three cylinders. There’s the familiar 1.0-liter engine borrowed from Toyota that makes the same 68 hp it’s always made, but there’s also a new 1.2-liter VTi unit that makes 82 hp and a turbocharged version with sporty tuning is not out of the question. All versions put out under 100 g/km CO2, with the e-VTi version with Stop&Start going as low as 88 g/km.
The car will be officially unveiled at the Geneva motor show, on Tuesday, March 4, before going on sale in the UK and other markets in the summer. The related successors to the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo are to follow soon as well.
By Andrei Nedelea