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Smiley Pug loses its sparkle

2011-02-08 20:40

COMING SOON: The revised 308 hatchback will arrive in South Africa later in 2011.

All too often mid-life facelifts are seemingly done because “it’s that time again” with the result lacking the charm and originality of the initial model. The revised Peugeot 308 is a case in point.

The new car, destined for a Geneva auto show debut, gets what Peugeot terms "micro-hybrid technology" and a new look that could shatter the joie de vivre of the happiest French poodle.

All the same, the car’s styling incorporates Peugeot’s latest styling elements for a look the company says it more “elegant” than before. The update includes a new grille (losing the protruding black band of its predecessor), new xenon headlights and lines in step with those seen on the recently revealed 508.  

However, the revised version hopes to score big points in the environmental stakes. It comes with e-HDI micro-hybrid technology - Peugeot’s name for its latest generation stop/start system - on the 1.6-litre HDI with a choice of semi-automatic manual and full manual transmissions. Four petrol and four diesel engines, with outputs ranging from 69 to 149kW, will be offered on the 308 at its European launch starting in April, 2011.

GREEN MACHINES

South Africa will not receive the micro-hybrid 1.6 HDI although all the engines in the revised range are optimised to benefit from other emissions-saving technologies including reduced weight, new 16-inch tyres with “very low rolling resistance” and a reduced drag coefficient.

CC and sedan body styles will join the hatchback in due course, although the SW is not promised for South Africa. The new 308 arrives here in the second half of 2011.
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