New Peugeot 308 shown for the first time

The facelift for Peugeot’s Focus rival hasn’t been a secret, and the reveal was one of the more low-key moments of the Geneva show.

However, it is also one of the few cars set to be launched in the next few months and comes with real world benefits to match the design changes.

These come in the form of new 1.6-litre engine featuring e-HDi technology. The diesel engine technology, which is also used on the new 508 saloon and station wagon, is a micro-hybrid system.

This refers to the stop-start technology capable of switching the engine off when the car is stationary and instantly starting it again when the brake is released.

The e-HDi system reduces CO2 emissions below 100g/km and qualifies the five-door hatchback for the lowest, zero band of UK road tax.

Peugeot has designed the car to be one of the most efficient on the market, but it also includes a new front end to bring it in line with the new 508, which also appeared at Geneva with e-HDi technology.

The front also includes new LED running lights, but the changes are not just cosmetic. The overall weight of the car has been reduced and the new exterior shape helps to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption.

The new Peugeot 308 will arrive in the UK later in 2011, where it is hoped it will continue the success of its predecessor which has sold over 900,000 models in its three and a half years on sale.

The new Peugeot 308 will be available to buy and test drive in Perrys Peugeot showrooms in the UK when it goes on sale.