Should Nissan's Juke, Vauxhall's new Mokka and the upcoming Ford Ecosport be worried about a French revolution? This is the new Peugeot 2008, the latest so-called 'compact crossover' to take supermini genes and add an extra helping of ride height and ruggedness.
First previewed as a lurid green concept at the 2012 Paris motor show, the production 2008 tones down the show car's angular lights and massive wheels, but sticks true to the idea of a taller, roomier 208 supermini. Read on for full details on the latest French niche-buster...
Peugeot 2008? Sounds like it's five years behind the times...
Don't be confused by the name: the 'double-0' moniker lines the 2008 up with Peugeot's other family-oriented offerings, like the weird-looking 3008 crossover and 5008 MPV. Peugeot says the 2008 has been designed 'to combine the driving characteristics of a hatchback with the strengths of an SUV.'
At just over four metres long, it's 200mm longer than a 208, matching a Nissan Juke for footprint. Familiar Peugeot styling cues like the 'floating' front grille and C-shaped taillights return, but 17-inch wheels and plastic cladding front and rear are supposed to give the 2008 a dose of rugged attitude.
The humped roof recalls the RCZ coupe's double-bubble party piece, and there's the option of a panoramic glass panel. Is the 2008 utilitarian enough to stand apart from regular hatches, like Peugeot's own 208 and 308? Give us your verdict in the comments below.
Any powertrain details for the new Peugeot 2008?
As you'd expect, the 2008 shares oily bits with the 208. The concept car used Peugeot's new 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo mill, pumping out 110bhp. Four-cylinder petrols and a diesel will also join the range, with the most efficient version scoring a 99g/km CO2 rating, and handy road tax exemption in the UK.
Unlike the Nissan Juke or Ford Ecosport, CAR understands the 2008 won't be available with all-wheel drive. Instead, 2008s come equipped with Peugeot's 'Grip Control' system: a £300 option on the larger 3008. Grip Control gets you get smaller wheels teamed with mud/snow-spec tyres, and an adaptive traction control system that lets the driver choose from mud, snow, or sand modes. Should be just the trick for the school run...
When does the Peugeot 2008 officially arrive?
We'll get our first look at the Peugeot 2008 at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. UK sales are likely to follow in the summer, with prices estimated to range from £13,000-18,000.
Peugeot will build its European-bound 2008s in France, but interestingly, the car's other production sites are in Brazil and China, two of the world's most rapidly expanding car markets. Both Brazil and China prefer crossovers and SUVs to conventional hatchbacks and saloons, so the 2008 could be just the sales tonic for Peugeot's current financial woes.