The quickest version of Peugeot's new 208 is electric | Top Gear
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The quickest version of Peugeot's new 208 is electric

Dinky new Peugeot gets bold 508-esque looks and optional electric power

Published: 25 Feb 2019

This is the new Peugeot 208, and the big news is it’s gone electric. Or at least the e-208 version has.

Fully electric, too; a 100kW (134bhp) motor teams up with a 50kWh battery to deliver over 200 miles of real world range, not to mention an 8.5sec 0-62mph time, making it quicker than any of the petrol or diesel options currently available.

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Though not as quick to refuel, of course. It’ll take over 20 hours to fully charge on a traditional domestic socket, but eight hours from a dedicated fast charger, with the ability to gain 80 per cent of charge in just 30 minutes if you can find a vacant rapid charger at motorway services. The time it takes for a wee’n’tea, essentially.

Other practical gubbins include the ability to manage the heating of the car from an app, so that it warms up in the most efficient way on chilly mornings. Not a new feature to the car industry, but one that’s pretty fresh to cars this dinky and affordable. The battery also gets a pretty exhaustive eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty, and sits beneath the floor to give the e-208 the same luggage space as a petrol of diesel 208.

Those petrol or diesel 208s are around 30kg lighter than the cars they replace, and comprise various tunes of 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol – possessing up to 128bhp, and available optionally with an eight-speed auto – and one 99bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel, which we suspect very few people will buy in Britain.

While a snickety little manual gearbox feels right in a tiddly little car, choosing the auto brings semi-autonomous driving in traffic jams and full self-parking, amongst a bunch of other de rigueur active safety systems.

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Like the bulk of its rivals it's now five-door only, with styling seemingly borrowed from the absurdly handsome 508 saloon, though how successfully that’s been shrink-wrapped around a smaller car is up for debate. A straw poll of our office finds many delighted at the 208’s newfound aggression, but some missing the daintier old car.

Let us know which side of the fence you fall on below, but there’s no arguing it's distinctive. Its aggression will only crank up if/when a Peugeot Sport version arrives, too. The old 208 GTI PS was one of the hardest cored hot hatches of recent times, but there’ll be nothing to directly replace it this time. Peugeot Sport’s new direction is electrified (and heralded by this 400bhp 508 saloon), so any hot hatch iteration of this 208 will possess some flavour of motor/battery combination. An electric hot hatch? It’s possible.

We should discover more when the 208 is shown (alongside that Peugeot Sport 508) at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Like what you see?

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