Auto blogMon, 27 Jan 2014 19:58:00 EST
Rémi Gaillard, the Frenchman famous for his real-life Mario Kart videos, and most recently featured on these humble digital pages for portraying a living, breathing speed camera, is back with his latest video.
The short clip below is evidently from an upcoming movie, and based on what we're seeing here, the film should feature the same battery of hysterical pranks Gaillard has made famous. We won't spoil this Peugeot driver's car wash clip, but suffice it to say, you'll want to watch it all the way through. It's laugh-out-loud funny.
Wagons may have been replaced largely by the ubiquitous crossover here in the States, but in Europe, estates big and small are still in high demand. And to meet that demand, Peugeot has revealed its new 308 SW, a vehicle similar in size and mission to our Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen.
Based on the latest 308 hatchback, the new sporty wagon more space than the previous 308 SW that debuted back in 2008, yet thanks to PSA's EMP2 architecture, it also weighs a solid (and coincidentally, symbolic) 308 pounds less than the outgoing model.
The new 308 SW is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March,before going on sale across Europe in the spring. Peugeot hasn't revealed engine specs, but we can expect a range of four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines to be offered depending on the local market.
The big global news of late is a deal that sees a number of major powers easing some sanctions on Iran in return for the Middle Eastern nation scaling back its nuclear program. This thawing of relations between Iran and the West could have far-reaching impacts in both the near and long term, particularly on the auto industry.
As Bloomberg points out, foreign manufacturers, especially Kia and Peugeot, stand to win big by this short-term easing of sanctions. But the impact of opening up the Iranian market to larger-scale sales cannot be underestimated - Peugeot, for example, sold 457,900 units to Iran in 2011 as spare parts kits alone. Opening the Iranian market could also have a huge impact on the cost of oil, as the country was one of the largest producers in the OPEC consortium before firmer sanctions took effect in 2012. Still, as David Cohen, US undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said, it's "not open season now for business in Iran."
Bloomberg has an excellent report of all the near-term effects an easing of sanctions has across a number of industries. Hop over and give it a look.
As much as we may love hot hatches like the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Ford Focus ST, there are a number on offer in Europe that we'll just never get here. And soon we'll be able to add one more.
Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat revealed that a new 208 R is on its way. The model will slot in above the existing 208 GTI (pictured above) - another hot hatch which, like the rest of the Peugeot lineup, isn't sold here - and likely take some cues from the 308 R concept (pictured at right). The 208 GTI packs a 1.6-liter turbo four with 197 horsepower, while the production RCZ R and 308 R concept employ the same engine to 270 hp. Expect the 208 R to fall somewhere in between.
The goodwill generated by the 208 T16 with which Sebastien Loeb recently conquered Pikes Peak seems likely to have paved the way for the 208 R, but that won't be the end of it. Picat further indicated that Peugeot would like to apply the same treatment to the 308, effectively putting the aforementioned 308 R concept into production.
The relationship between General Motors and PSA/Peugeot Citroën got off to a bumpy start last year, and Automotive News says that the tie-up between the two automakers will be short-lived. Heavy losses from both companies is causing the alliance to be scaled back, but PSA's talks with China's Dongfeng could kill the deal altogether.
Originally, about 40 shared vehicles were planned between Opel, Peugeot and Citroën, but the report says that, in the end, only two will make it to production - small vans like the Opel Meriva and Citroën C4 Picasso. For now, GM and PSA will continue a joint purchasing agreement, but this means that co-developed versions of the next-gen Opel Corsa, Peugeot 208 and Citroën C3 small cars are dead. Instead, another AN report says that GM will intensify its efforts to develop future Opel products on its own, which includes said next-gen Corsa that will reportedly switch from its current Fiat-based platform to GM's Global Gamma platform shared with the Chevy Spark and Buick Encore.
It isn't clear what would happen with the shared vehicles and joint purchasing, though, if Dongfeng manages to acquire a 30-percent stake in PSA/Peugeot Citroën. Dongfeng is a Chinese rival to SAIC Motor, which works with GM in China. While this soured deal mostly has implications for small cars in Europe, we wonder what it means for GM's fullsize commercial van plans in the US.
PSA Peugeot Citroën, the European automaking giant responsible for forbidden fruit like the Citroën DS3 and Peugeot RCZ, has been struggling mightily, with a 510-million euro operating loss ($689.2M USD) in the first half of 2013, while cutting over 11,000 jobs and closing a plant, all in a bid to stop hemorrhaging cash. Help could be on the way, though, thanks to one of China's many emergent automakers, Dongfeng.
The company, which currently operates three joint-venture operations with PSA in China, is reportedly looking at taking a 30-percent stake at a cost of $1.63 billion. Dongfeng is in the midst of "preliminary research," according to a report from Automotive News Europe. PSA reps have reportedly declined to comment outside of saying that the company is looking at new projects with different partners.
While this deal does sound like it's in the earliest stages, a tie-up with Dongfeng could be big for PSA, which has had no shortage of trouble outside of the sluggish European market. The arrangement also raises some interesting questions for PSA's two largest shareholders - the Peugeot family and General Motors. Dongfeng would be the largest shareholder in PSA, replacing the Peugeot family, which currently holds a controlling 25.5-percent stake. GM, meanwhile, only owns seven percent, and has previously gone on record as saying the partnership between the two wouldn't be broken. That said, as part of GM's alliance, it reserves the right to end the partnership if control of PSA were to change.
It's easy to focus all the attention on the Peugeot 308 R Concept, thanks to its two-tone paint job and 270-horsepower engine. For the more average European, though, we have the standard Peugeot 308. The cleanly styled, five-door is Peugeot's bread-and-butter offering, competing against the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and other C-segment cars.
Being a small hatch for the European market, the 308's engine lineup shouldn't be a shock. Besides the typical range of tiny (by American standards) gas and diesel engines, the 308 range will play host to a new, 1.2-liter, three-cylinder gas engine. Representing an emerging trend of ultra-small-displacement, turbocharged gas engines, Peugeot's two offerings, pack 110 and 130 horsepower, respectively. The engines are lighter, and naturally, more efficient than a four-cylinder with similar power, while boasting 45 percent more torque.
We've got a full lineup of live images of the new 308 from the Frankfurt show, along with a huge gallery of images and a video direct from Peugeot and a press release from the 308's initial debut back in May, down below.
Peugeot, being a French company, is a bit weird. Take the RCZ coupe, for example. It's a car that's as subtly handsome as an Audi TT, with a certain slickness that only French cars can pull off. Still, it's never been an outstanding performer, resting more or less as a style icon atop the Peugeot lineup. With the RCZ R, which was unveiled at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, France's oldest automaker is trying to add some kick to the RCZ formula.
It's the most powerful production car to ever wear the Peugeot badge, which is far less impressive if you know it only pumps out 270 horsepower from a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. Still, it'll hit 60 in under six seconds and will climb to a limited 155 miles per hour if given the room to run. We made a point of getting up close and personal with it at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, and as usual, have a full gallery of live images at the top of the page. Scroll down, and we've got the stock gallery from the car's debut, along with a press release and a video.
Peugeot showed a hot, concept version of its new 308 at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The C-segment offering that does battle with the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf in Europe, is called the 308 R Concept. It's basically all the good stuff about the RCZ R - 270 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque from a 1.6-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine - with a more family friendly body on top. A six-speed manual is on hand to distribute the thrust to what we imagine are a pair of overtaxed front tires.
That's not really news, though. With the 308 R Concept, it's the aesthetics that matter. Peugeot started by dropping the suspension and fitting a set of 19-inch wheels on low-profile tires, to give it that sporty stance. The body has been fettled with, adding a dose of aggression, while the rear third of the car is finished in matte black paint. As of right now, there's no mention as to whether Peugeot will end up putting this hot hatch into production. For our European friends, though, we certainly hope it gets built.
Live images from the Frankfurt show floor are available up top, while the stock images and press release provided by Peugeot can be found down below.
Peugeot will be bringing 30 models to the Frankfurt Motor Show to show off its successful products, new concepts and powertrains, and at least one concept we've seen before that will reaffirm its commitment to moving upmarket. Among the most important centerpiece will be the new, lighter 308 and its i-Cockpit, launched in May but getting its world premiere with a showcase of nine variants in Germany.
Elsewhere will be the refreshed 3008 and 5008 spearheading the use of the new BlueHDi diesel engines. A new hybrid powertrain that uses compressed air, slated for introduction in 2016, will be shown on the 2008 HYbrid Air Concept, and a Le Mans-derived hybrid powertrain developed with the aid of oil company Total is showcased by the 208 HYbrid FE demonstrator. Another newcomer in the concept corner will be the 270-horsepower 308 R concept, and while the Onyx concept isn't new, we'll have no complaints about getting another look at it.
The RCZ R will represent what's coming, while the 208 T16 Pikes Peak and three special 208 GTi Peugeot Sport cars that ran the Nürburgring 24-hour race will represent the recent, and successful, past. There's a press release below with more information, and an updated gallery of 308 shots with 85 new photos.