peugeot 208 hybrid air 2l a

Another year, another Peugeot 208 hybrid – at Frankfurt last year, Peugeot premiered its 208 HYbrid FE, which showcased an engine/electric motor combination. This year, for Paris, the French automaker will be showing a 208 HYbrid Air 2L Demonstrator concept, which works on a petrol engine/compressed air pairing.

Fuel economy is of course the name of the game here, and the car boasts a fuel consumption of just two litres per 100 km, courtesy of the dual energy system. The base car is a production version of the 1.2 litre PureTech 82 hp 208. It still has a 1.2 litre motor, but a compressed air hydraulic system is used to assist and even replace the petrol engine to enable maximum efficiency during acceleration and starts.

The system is made up of a compressed-air tank located below the boot, a low-pressure tank near the rear axle acting as an expansion chamber and a hydraulic system consisting of a motor and a pump in the engine bay. An epicyclic geartrain replaces the manual gearbox from the base car and offers automatic operation.

The 208 HYbrid Air 2L can run in Petrol mode, powered only by the 1.2 litre mill, best utilised for travelling at fixed speeds such as on highways, as well as in compressed air-only mode in urban environments. There’s also a Combined mode, which mixes the use of both energy sources and is optimised for transition phases in urban environments, such as standing starts and acceleration.

peugeot 208 hybrid air 2l b

Regeneration for the compressed-air tank is done while slowing down (during braking or when off the accelerator) or by part use of the energy developed by the three-cylinder petrol engine to compress the air. Either way, maximum pressure for the compressed air system can be achieved in just 10 seconds.

The sterling fuel economy isn’t just accomplished through the workings of the HYbrid Air system, but from light-weighing the car as well. The study lops off 100 kg from the base 208, tipping the scales at 860 kg.

A mix of steel, aluminium and composites are to be found. In the case of the latter, carbon composites are used for the body panels, sides, doors and roof, along with the suspension’s coil springs.

The automaker adds that the weight shedding hasn’t just centred on the use of new materials, but on redesigning existing parts for improved weight efficiency as well. Like the 208 HYbrid FE, this year’s concept has also been fine-tuned aerodynamically, with a number of improvements to reduce drag, including a lower stance on the road.