The Peugeot 308, recently crowned the 2014 European Car of the Year, has gained a new eco-friendly petrol engine option. Part of PSA’s new PureTech engine family, the turbocharged three-cylinder 1.2 litre e-THP 130 (for 130 hp, 230 Nm) unit promises to return 21.5 km per litre in Peugeot’s latest C-segment hatchback.

Peugeot claims that the new motor, combined with the 308 – the lightest car in its class – is now “the benchmark for its sector for the most economical vehicle with a petrol engine.”

In fact, the 308 e-THP 130 has been tested to achieve new records for fuel economy: managing 35.2 km/l and 1810 km on its 51.4-litre fuel tank at the Almeria circuit in Spain. Done over 32 hours, the test was officially witnessed by UTAC (Union Technique de l’Automobile, Motocycle et Cycle).

That was achieved in a controlled environment, of course. Out in the real world, and with a six-speed automatic instead of a manual gearbox in tow, expect numbers closer (or less, even) than the claimed combined figure. It’s still an impressive feat, though, and the new variant should contribute further towards the 308’s already-accelerated production output.

Next in line to receive the 1.2 litre PureTech engine, albeit in downtuned e-THP 110 form, are the Peugeot 208 hatchback and 2008 crossover.