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The day is coming when only a discerning few will know what is powering your new car.

Well, it will be the case with Peugeots anyway. The company has taken the idea a step closer with their new policy of minimum fuel-source badging with the new 508 Fastback, for example.

Basically you choose the car first, then the trim level, then the power (petrol, diesel, electric, hybrid).

So you could have anything under the bonnet – such is the proliferation of power bases coming along.

The point is further emphasised by the French maker this week with its new 208 hatchback unveiled. The car will debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Expect it here by early 2020.

Significantly, from launch, it will have the choice of petrol, diesel or electric powertrains – but you’ll have to peer to see which is propelling the car.

They say it ‘breaks new ground’ with its latest i-Cockpit, 3D head-up display, and a range of driving aids reserved for prestige models.

There will be three petrols (1.2 litre 75bhp manual, 1.2 litre 100bhp manual/8spd auto and 1.2 litre 130bhp 8spd auto); and a 1.5 100bhp diesel. Emissions are down due to a 30kg drop in weight, better aerodynamics and reduced roll resistance.

The electric version, the e-208, has identical cabin and boot space to its fossil-fuel counterparts. The battery banks are under the floor pan. The electric motor generates 136bhp and there are three drive modes: Eco, Normal, Sport. It can sprint to 100kmh in 8.1 seconds. They claim a range of up to 340km under latest Worldwide Harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP) certification. The battery is guaranteed for eight years/160,000 km.

A conventional domestic socket charge takes 16 hours; a Wall Box 5 hours 15 minutes; and it’s 8 hours for mono-phase (7.4 kW). Around 80pc of the charge can be loaded up in 30 minutes if you use a 100kW public terminal.

The new car is longer, wider and lower. Depending on trim there are 5in, 7in or 10in touchscreens.

Standard or optional bits and pieces include Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Cruise Control Stop & Go, Full Park Assist, automatic headlights.

Prices and spec for the Irish market will be announced nearer to launch.

* Meantime, Audi pushes on with Geneva debuts for plug-in hybrid variants of its A8, A7 Sportback, A6 and Q5. They have electric-only ranges of 40km+. There are different output models – from comfort to performance.

* Another debutant at Geneva will be the concept-car from CUPRA, called the Formentor – the first model developed specifically for the brand.

It has a high-performance plug-in hybrid with a total output of 245PS. It can drive in pure electric mode for up to 50km in the new WLTP cycle.

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