July 1 2014 will kick off the latest chapter of their small car story. An assertive step forward from the adored 107, the 108 will be looking to move Peugeot into a new range of consumer contemplation as well as attracting a new audience to the storied brand.
The styling is assertive and trendy, its character is expected to be chic and the shoppers are expected to bring it distinction, but does it appeal? Well depending on who you converse with the range or personalisation choices are either banal or a boon.
But how did the 108 end up as it has ended up? Well for starters it all began with an internal competition at PSA's Design Centre near Paris. Ivo Groën, Design Director for the Peugeot 108 says that the goal from the outset was to distinguish the 108 from the C1 and Aygo through premium and sophisticated feel, which is all part of Peugeots attempt to move themselves up market.
An integral part of pushing the brand upmarket was including premium components from high models in the Peugeot range. For example the premium bi-focal projector headlamps have been borrowed from the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid.“The 107 had a very cab-forward ‘mono-volume’ silhouette, which at launch in 2005 was very modern. We wanted to give the 108 more of a nose and the powerful feeling that comes with that. We wanted to reduce the glass and increase the sculpting of the body, and at the same time give it a timeless elegance.”
The improvements have not simply been cosmetic either. Cabin space in the 108 is nearly identical to the 107's however the 108 hs gained usable boot capacity over the 107, from 139 L to 196 L for the 108.
I think Ivo has summed it quite succinctly, the 108 is a catapult intended to push Peugeot into new conversations, pitting its vehicles against new rivals which have always seemed just a touch out of reach...“Throughout history Peugeots have been very simple and classy, but also sporty, dynamic and elegant. I believe we have achieved this with the Peugeot 108.”