It is cars like the all-new small Peugeot 2008 SUV that will show how quickly we will move towards embracing an electric future.
Like the 208, its small hatchback sister, the 2008 is being launched almost simultaneously, with petrol, diesel and electric motors; all with the same body and internal load-carrying ability. While the electric version will be the most expensive, if it gets its pricing right, it should quite seriously undercut cars like the amazingly successful Hyundai Kona (also available in petrol, diesel and hybrid versions) and the Kia e-Niro and Soul. While initial forecasts are for the e-2008 to take 10pc of sales, I believe that could double very quickly.
The range of around 300km obviously isn’t like the 430km of the Korean trio but it will enable the price to be kept lower and will be suitable for the vast majority of users, especially as the charging infrastructure gets better.
However, for most people, the e-2008 won’t be on the shortlist yet so they will be drawn to the conventionally powered models which have been given a really strong look, mirroring the massively successful 3008, 5008 and 508 models. The new 2008 is bigger than its predecessor – especially in the rear, has a much more aggressive stance and is packed with safety kit.
There is also the much vaunted Peugeot i-cockpit with the trademark smallish steering wheel and graphic heads-up display. It actually could take sales from the 3008. There are lots of trim alternatives and a whole mass of engines. There is very little mention of Peugeot’s acclaimed Advanced Grip Control system but I trust that it will be available. It is one of the best on the market and gives 2WD vehicles almost proper SUV abilities.
As the grumpy Honest John columnist often writes, it sets Peugeots apart and, used with the right tyres, is all you need throughout the year.
Anyway, the 2008 which was shown internationally last week will be introduced progressively over the first five months of next year. The lion Pug is going to make an impact as one of the best looking and driving small SUV/Crossovers and will confirm Peugeot’s upmarket incline.
The e-2008 which will arrive last could even make a push for a permanent place in my garage, where there already is a charging point. That’s if I can keep the better half’s ambition for a replacement car, that gives her a bit of size and prestige, in check until then.