The new model is still a year away, and Peugeot is in no rush to replace the seven-year-old 206. Last year, it was Europe’s second best –selling car.
The new model will address the areas where the Pug is off the pace: packaging and quality. The 207 measures nearly 4m-long, fractionally bigger than Skoda’s Fabia. The new hatch is taller, too, so expect cabin space near top of the class.
Today’s torturous driving position will be sorted with decent pedal positions, a multi-adjustable seat and a wheel that adjusts for rake and reach. Materials and equipment will be far superior, too.
Despite the growth spurt, the 207’s proportions daren’t stray too far from today’s wedgy, beloved shape. Beneath that bin bag lurks Peugeot’s new corporate face – gaping grille, teardrop headlamps, over-sized badge. The deep sideglass and screen should make for good visibility; the rear end is said to be reminiscent of the 307’s.
The 206 pre-dated Peugeot-Citroen’s consistently enforced platform strategy, but the 207 slides into the fold by adopting the PF1 underpinnings beneath the C2 and C3.
That means transverse four-cylinder engines and front-wheel drive. Sources say the 207 gets a new electro-hydraulic steering rack.
The headline news is that the Lion cub should pioneer the new four-cylinder engine, co-developed with BMW. The 1.6-litre offers 90 and 115bhp, and 143bhp and 170bhp when blown. No word yet on which outputs Peugeot will pick, but the range will probably get a 70bhp 1.4, too, plus a unit with close to 200bhp for the GTi replacement.
Expect a wide range of HDi diesels as well as the 136bhp 2.0-litre for a torquey diesel GTi.
The new three- and five-door hatches will be in UK showrooms by autumn 2006, with SW and CC versions following.
It may be longer and taller, but Peugeot seeks to maintain today’s wedgy profile. Family face from 1007 and 407.
Shared with the Citroen C2 and C3, which means transverse engines and front-wheel drive.
Huge choice, with 1.4, 1.6 and 2.0 diesels, plus the all-new 1.6-litre petrol four co-developed with BMW.