Peugeot will showcase its 208 Hybrid Air 2L Demonstrator at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. This car is a hybrid based on the 208 1.2litre production hatchback. The company claims that the car can deliver 141mpg (almost 50kmpl!). This has been achieved by making use of lightweight materials such as steel, aluminum and composites. The result is an astonishing overall weight of just 860kg. Carbon composites have also been widely used in the doors, roof, body panels and even the coil springs of the suspension system. Further weight has been reduced by ingenious thinking, such as decreasing the thickness of the exhaust pipe.
This is a hybrid, so one must be a combustion engine while the other an electric motor, right? Wrong! This is a new kind of hybrid which makes use of a three-cylinder, 1.2litre petrol engine and compressed air system. The compressed air unit gets a tank of compressed air situated below the boot, another low-pressure tank near the rear axle and finally a hydraulic motor and pump located near the engine bay. A custom epicyclic automatic transmission handles the duties of power delivery to the wheels.
The 208 Hybrid Air Demonstrator can run in three modes: petrol, air (ZEV) and combined. Peugeot says that the car can run in ZEV mode in urban areas without sipping any gas or giving off any emissions. Petrol mode can be used on motorways where a constant speed is required and, combined mode – the company says – is ideal for transitional phases, which basically means during acceleration or starting from a standstill. Just like in regenerative braking, this car recharges its compressed air tank when the brake is applied or by harnessing some of the power from the gasoline engine. Peugeot says, either way this process gets competed in 10 seconds.
This is an interesting concept and marks a step ahead in to the future. Greenheads everywhere will be crowding around this car when it makes its debut next month. The manufacturer also claims that they have made this car with all the materials that are compatible with their production lines and is capable of a high volume output. So who knows, we might see it sooner than anticipated.