Flex-fuel i3 Peugeot Brazil's economy champion
Brazilian made 208 has had midlife update for 2017 model year, differs in detail from French built cars
The model year 2017 Peugeot 208 brings with it the Brazilian debut of PSA's 1.2-litre/122 cubic inch, three-cylinder, flex-fuel engine which has earned a triple-A grading from the Brazilian Labelling Programme (PBE) - it gets the best fuel economy of any car sold in Brazil.
First deliveries were on 1 May. The Pure Tech powerplant replaces the ancient, 1,449-cc/88.4 cubic inch TU4M flex engine which will be phased out with the locally made Citroën C3 next in line, soon, for the I3 1.2 developed specifically for Brazil with 12.5-to-one compression ratio, four valve combustion chambers and double overhead camshafts with variable timing for both intake and exhaust.
A power output of 83bhp/89bhp (on ethanol) at 5,750 rpm and 12.2 kgf/m/88.2 lbf-ft at just 2,750 rpm (all but the same as the outgoing motor - its torque peaked at 3,000rpm) means better performance than the outgoing engine because that maximum torque comes earlier and the engine itself weighs 25kg/55lb less.
Smoothness is above average for an inherently imbalanced three cylinder powerplant.
Fuel economy is simply astonishing on both ethanol and petrol: city, 9.2 litres/100km/25.6 mpg and 6.6 litres/100km/35.5 mpg; motorway, 8.6 litres/100km/27.5 mpg and 5.9 litres/100km/39.8 mpg, respectively, on Brazilian driving cycles, which are more severe than NEDC's. Besides delivering a more attractive cost-per-kilometre relative to the city driving cycle than rivals' flex engines, it should not be much of a challenge to achieve five litres/100km/47 mpg in real-world motorway driving on petrol.
This new engine is imported from France and will be produced locally only when production would be profitable - about 100,000 units a year, including exports.
PSA nonetheless regards the motor's launch as a landmark of its 15 years here in Brazil.
The Brazilian 208 has been given a slight mid-life cycle update - it was launched five years ago. The grille and front bumper, DRL lighting, LED tail lights and a seven-inch tactile multimedia screen are the main changes.