Peugeot will be commencing its Indian operations by 2021. The French automaker will make its return to India after a gap of 24 years. Peugeot are considering a slew of models from their global line-up for our shores.
Once such model will be the new 208 premium hatchback. Peugeot have tasted success globally with their brilliant handling hatchbacks over the years. The previous generation 208 is no exception, and the current model is expected to be much better than its predecessor.
On design, the new 208 looks appealing with full-LED three-claw headlamps and a black band running over the bootlid. The 208 features Peugeot’s ‘i-cockpit’ design, dominated by a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Groupe PSA, the conglomerate of Peugeot, are also keen on introducing a premium hatchback here.
Even if the 208 does not arrive, the automaker will be using its CMP (Common Modular Platform) to manufacture a hatchback for India. The CMP is basically the smallest modular platform for Peugeot, and it will be localized to keep costs in check. However, if they do decide on launching the 208, we can expect Peugeot to launch its electric version (e-208) as well.
Engine-wise, Peugeot will give the new 208 options of a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine or a 1.5-litre diesel engine. The e-208 will come powered by an electric motor having a 50 kWh battery pack. These engines will be manufactured in collaboration with the CK Birla Group.
The new 208 is set for a global unveiling at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show in April. When launched, it will rival the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz. Peugeot will be paired with brands such as Citroën and DS when it comes to India.
This looks likely to be the strategy adopted by Groupe PSA for the Indian market. Of late, DS-badged mid-size SUV’s and Peugeot’s have been spotted undergoing testing on Indian roads. A possible launch for the 208 is expected to take place in mid-2021, though it has not been cleared whether it will be the first Peugeot to roll from production lines here.
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