Monday, July 14, 2008

The New Peugeot 308 CC

As the pioneer of "folding roof cars" with its elegant 401, 601 and 402 "Eclipse" models from the 1930s, Peugeot has never lost its desire to give motorists the freedom to drive in either the coupé or cabriolet configuration through the "magic" of a rigid roof that folds into the boot.

It's now almost a decade ago, at the Geneva Motor Show in 1998, that this innovative motoring concept was launched in the form of the 20-heart concept car.

This concept soon evolved into the Peugeot 206 CC and the Peuogeot 307 CC, popularising a concept which was considered, until then, only for the elite. The heirs to these successful first generation vehicles have already taken to the road in the form of the Peugeot 207 CC and the soon-to-be launched Peugeot 308 CC.

By the end of May 2008, Peugeot had produced nearly 632,000 coupé-cabriolets for enthusiasts of this "lifestyle" motoring concept, making Peugeot the world leader in this body style:

  • 457,500 Peugeot 206 CCs and 207 CCs with their 2 + 2 architecture in the small car segment (B)
  • 174,500 Peugeot 307 CCs with four full size seats in the medium car segment (M1)

Since the launch of the 307 CC in 2003, the structure of the lifestyle market has undergone a number of profound changes. Recently, cabriolets with a retractable rigid roof have become more popular than vehicles with a more vulnerable "soft top".

For the majority of customers, the 307 CC was the household's main car. It was chosen for the intelligence of its design and for its elegance but was also greatly appreciated in daily use for its comfort, specification and ride quality.

The Peugeot 308 has already taken the place of the Peugeot 307 in its hatchback and its SW versions, offering all the benefits of its successful forerunner while, at the same time, imposing its new identity, modern feel and strong personality.

In the same vein, the Peugeot 308 CC with its four full size seats capitalises on the genetic codes of the 308, embodying the "307 CC spirit" and Peugeot's coupé-cabriolet expertise. Above all it promises enthusiasts of "lifestyle" motoring a unique and genuinely attractive offer.

An attractive design

The Peugeot 308 CC stands out by the superb fluidity of its style, both in its coupé and cabriolet configurations. From the badge to the end of the roof, from the door to the lower rear panel, the graphic style of its profile is emphasised by light reflecting contours. Chrome detailing further enhances this elegant profile.

Low slung and firmly planted on its wheels, the Peugeot 308 CC has a prominent shape and spectacular LED rear lights that use "red light curtain" technology to create a unique signature for the car by day and by night.

The passenger compartment has an undeniable personality. Particularly striking in the "cabriolet" version, it has a different feel from the hatchback and creates the impression of a grand touring car.

The sculpted front seats with their integral head restraints have inbuilt air vents which diffuse warm air around the occupants neck. The rear seats mirror this distinctive design and offer rear accommodation surprisingly generous for a cabriolet.

The door panels also have an exclusive design, incorporating an elegant yet dynamic and robust metallic inner door handle. The sporty steering wheel, the special finish of the instrument panel and the "black lacquer" centre console complete this theme.

In terms of the "sporty" "haute couture" feel of the car, the Peugeot 308 CC is clothed with dynamic fabrics, simple leather or even an "integral leather" trim. This now extends to the entire passenger compartment which is usually unseen in this segment. In Black, Vintage or Beige, the attractive interior trims differ according to the range of body colours: Fashionable pearlescent black, subtle "terre d'ombre" and also the established favourites: blue, red, black and grey are available.

A typical CC specification

Meticulously designed to enhance the day-to-day comfort and convenience of its occupants, the Peugeot 308 CC offers a multitude of "everyday" benefits.

The fully automatic retractable roof can be magically transformed in 20 seconds and the operation can be viewed on the colour display, turning the car into a dynamic coupé or an elegant cabriolet according to the mood of its occupants.

A coupé-cabriolet with four full size seats, the Peugeot 308 CC benefits from wider tracks and a wider body compared to the 307 CC, as well as a front seat structure which offers both generous leg room to the rear occupants and provides a good amount of space.

Two dynamic and flexible engines power the Peugeot 308 CC through a six speed manual gearbox. unless an automatic gearbox is preferred. They are the 1.6 litre THP 110 kW (150 bhp) turbocharged direct injection petrol engine and the 2.0 litre HDi FAP Euro 5 103 kW (140 bhp) diesel engine, the latter being also particularly environmentally-friendly.

The car combines both motoring enjoyment with efficient road holding. The wide tracks, the lowered ride height and high-performance suspension specially developed for this body style give the Peugeot 308 CC excellent potential, together with a real sense of security for the driver. The large 302 x 26 mm disc brakes are an equal match to the performance of the engines. This is combined with an ESP system that watches over the occupants at all times.

Inside the Peugeot 308 CC an excellent structural rigidity wards off any vibrations that might affect steering, rear vision or seat comfort. This is the result of carefully placed structural reinforcements: dampers that pacify, braces ready to take the strain.. In short, the Peugeot 308 CC offers a highly rigid structure and excellent vibration damping demonstrating Peugeot's coupé-cabriolet expertise.

An indispensable ingredient of comfort and convenience inside the car, the low interior noise levels of the Peugeot 308 CC in its coupé configuration will clearly set the vehicle apart from its competitors.

The Peugeot 308 CC is designed to create a real sensation of tranquillity in the passenger compartment. The structure is robust and designed to withstand and dissipate front and side impact energy. It is also supplemented by innovative and intelligent means of restraint that the cabriolet body shape dictates. They include a chest/pelvis side air bag built into the front seats and exclusively a side head air bag which is a world first, guaranteeing effective protection of all parts of the body regardless of seat position.

Within a few milliseconds of the risk of a rollover being detected (less than the blink of an eye), rear "pop-up" pyrotechnic roll-over protection bars create a passenger survival cell with the strengthened windscreen pillars designed for this purpose.

The aim of all this important safety work is to obtain 5 stars in the EuroNcap test for the protection of adult occupants of the vehicle.

In harmony with the seasons. The cabriolet configuration can even be enjoyed in cold weather, whether it's making the most of early spring, saying no to winter or driving with the roof down in beautiful snow bound landscapes. Peugeot offers all these pleasures to the occupants of the Peugeot 308 CC, thanks to its protective architecture, its intelligent air conditioning (which adapts its operation to the cabriolet body shape), heated seats, its windstop and. its remarkable "Airwave" system built into the front seats, which acts like a scarf by diffusing warm air adjustable for temperature/flow and direction.

Following are further typical CC features and equipment testifying to the ability of the Peugeot 308 CC to anticipate its occupants' needs.

  • Automatic remote-control locking of interior storage compartments (glove box and storage under the central armrest)
  • Centralised control of all four windows.
  • The special "rear seat access" function with electrically-operated seats.
  • Deadlocking of doors and selective unlocking.
  • LED courtesy lighting in the door mirrors.

Not forgetting a usable boot with dedicated storage spaces (including one under the boot carpet for the windstop), laid out to resemble a presentation box. Its capacity (VDA method) is 403 dm3 in the coupé configuration and 226 dm3 under the windstop in the cabriolet configuration (or 465 litres and 266 litres respectively in "water" equivalent).

Finally, to make the journey even more pleasant a wide range of WIP (World In Peugeot) options are available on the Peugeot 308 CC:

  • WIP sound, MP3 CD audio system
  • WIP Bluetooth, MP3 CD audio system, USB Box and hands-free kit.
  • WIP Nav, a user-friendly satellite navigation system offering a MP3 CD audio system, Bluetooth functionality and satellite navigation with a retractable 7" 16/9 colour display.
  • WIP Com 3D, a top-of-the-range satellite navigation system with a 30 GB hard disc and a Juke Box function, MP3 CD audio system, integral mobile phone, Bluetooth functionality, USB connector and a retractable, high-resolution 7" 16/9 colour screen with a 3D display.
  • The JBL Hi-fi pack with 10 speakers offering made-to-measure sound which recognises and adapts to the cabriolet configuration.

No comments: