Peugeot to introduce air-powered 208

Peugeot is to introduce a new 208 concept model at the Paris Motor Show, which can be powered solely by air.

The 208 Hybrid Air 2L Demonstrator model will debut at this year’s show in October, following the unveiling of the 2008 Hybrid Air prototype earlier this year.

Based on the standard production 208 hatchback, the new Hybrid Air 208 is powered by a hybrid powertrain which combines a conventional 1.2-litre petrol engine with a motor that runs on compressed air.

Hybrid drive system

According to the carmaker, the 208 Hybrid concept will manage the equivalent of 141mpg from the combined efforts of its hybrid drive system.

Peugeot’s goal is to create a hybrid vehicle that’s easy on the environment and fuel costs, but that’s also free from the infrastructure limitations associated with petrol/electric hybrids.

The compressed air tank is recharged automatically when the car decelerates and using excess energy from the three-pot petrol unit.

It still shares much of its functionality with other hybrids, though, as drivers can choose whether the car runs on the conventional or alternative engine, or with both running together.

Air function

When drivers select the Air function, the car will run purely on the compressed air alone, consuming zero fuel and giving off no CO2 emissions whatsoever.

In petrol mode, the 208 Hybrid Air is powered by the petrol engine, which Peugeot claims is the better option for motorway cruising. Combined mode, meanwhile, is recommended for standing starts or for quick bursts of acceleration.

Peugeot has also engineered the 208 Hybrid Air to offer the ultimate in efficiency, with weight reduced by 100kg over the standard 208 model.

Manufactured from a mix of steel, aluminium and light-weight composites, Peugeot’s engineers also made certain tweaks to the car’s body and ride height in order to increase aerodynamic efficiency.

Along with new materials and the body redesign, existing parts on the 208 have also been modified down to the finest detail, with even the exhaust thickness reduced to decrease weight.

Currently, the Hybrid Air 208 is in the concept stage along with its 2008 counterpart, however Peugeot has previously announced that it aims to put its Hybrid Air technology into full production by 2016.

In the meantime, both the standard 208 and 2008 are available to buy now, with a range of highly efficient engine options.

Prices for the Peugeot 208 start from £9,995, while the 2008 is priced from £12,995.