Thursday 24 April 2014

Peugeot to cut reliance on diesels

Peugeot is hoping a sales boost from two new small turbocharged petrol engines will reduce its traditional reliance on diesels.

The new PureTech petrol engines - 1.2-litre three-cylinder direct-injection units developing either 110bhp or 130bhp, with diesel-like torque figures of 205Nm and 230Nm respectively - debut in the new 308 and 308 SW and are destined for the 208 and 2008 later in the year.

Unlike the 1.6-litre four-cylinder 125bhp unit in the previous 308, a joint development with the BMW Group, the new turbo engines are Peugeot's own work, and are 21 per cent more economical with 18 per cent lower CO2 emissions, according to official figures.

As a result, Peugeot expects “a sizeable shift” in overall sales and the share taken by petrol engines for the new 308 range. It is confident of improving 308 sales in the UK by 22 per cent this year - 3,000 cars - with all the increase attributed to the new engines.

But diesels have not been overlooked with the latest 308 and 308 SW, which have new 1.6-litre 120bhp and 2.0-litre 150bhp BlueHDI engines. A combination of measures will help clean up exhaust emissions and improve fuel economy by up to four per cent.                

In the past, petrol models accounted for only around 12 per cent of 308 sales in the UK, and 14 per cent across Europe. With the new engines, the company is predicting a 29 per cent share for petrol in Britain and 27.5 per cent in Europe. The change in the balance will be most noticeable among private buyers: Peugeot expects petrol engines to take a 60 per cent share compared with 40 per cent previously.

Peugeot expects the 120bhp 1.6-litre diesel will remain number one choice among fleets, but the new petrol engines “will change the overall landscape”. This will bring Peugeot's petrol-diesel sales mix closer into line with those of the Ford Focus. Ford's EcoBoost 1-litre turbocharged petrol engine takes 41 per cent of Focus sales in the UK, and 70 per cent with retail customers, according to Peugeot.

The new turbo engines join 1- and 1.2-litre normally-aspirated three-cylinder PureTech units, which Peugeot has already introduced for the 108, 208 and 2008 ranges.

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