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Frankfurt LIVE: Peugeot 208 HYbrid FE

by Ronan Glon

The 208 HYbrid FE emits just 49 grams of CO2 per kilometer.

France's Peugeot has joined forces with Total, one of the world's leading oil companies, to develop a gas-sipping concept car called 208 HYbrid FE.

The 208 HYbrid FE is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 68-horsepower 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine and a small electric motor borrowed from the now-defunct 908 HYbrid4 Le Mans racer. Power is sent to the front wheels via a semi-automatic transmission. With the two power sources working together, the 208 sprints from zero to 62 mph in eight seconds, six seconds quicker than the car it's based on, and returns 93 mpg in a mixed European cycle. It emits 49 grams of CO2 per kilometer, significantly less than a Toyota Prius.

The electric motor is capable of powering the 208 on its own for short distances. When the brakes are applied, the motor turns into a generator and uses kinetic energy to charge the 55-pound lithium-ion battery pack.

Composite Diet

Peugeot lowered the 208's weight by almost 400 pounds to 1,764 pounds by replacing the floors and most body panels with bespoke parts made out of composite materials such as carbon fiber. The windshield and the rear windscreen are crafted out of polycarbonate, a resin-based material typically used to produce headlight lenses. Polycarbonate is about 50 percent lighter than glass.

Two transversally-mounted blades made out of fiberglass resin replace key suspension components such as the springs, the lower wishbones and the roll bars. 19-inch wheels mounted on tall, narrow tires reduce rolling resistance and eliminate the need for power steering, saving space and weight in the engine bay.

The biggest modifications found inside the 208 HYbrid FE are the deletion of the air conditioning system and door panels made out of reinforced Polypropylene. The car is otherwise stock and offers room for five passengers and their luggage.

The 208 HYbrid FE is a rolling laboratory of fuel-saving technology that will not be added to the Peugeot lineup as-is. However, the technology found under the skin will be integrated into the brand's production cars over the next decade.

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