The next-generation 3008 unveiled overnight by Peugeot will be in New Zealand within eight months.
MASSIVE Kiwi desire for crossovers and sports utilities means the next-generation of Peugeot’s medium elevated all-rounder could become one of the brand’s biggest sellers here in 2017.
This view has been expressed by Peugeot New Zealand boss Simon Rose in response to the overnight unveiling of the latest 3008, which though continuing as a front-drive model nonetheless has enhanced its SUV credential.
While full details of the New Zealand lineup have yet to be sorted, Rose has indicated those we will receive both petrol and diesel derivatives, plus a high level of specification.
The kit content might even include the brand’s response to many city centres in Europe now being close off to normal traffic - the novel option of a portable e-Kick electric scooter for zipping around in no-go zones for cars. This sites in the boot, where Peugeot has provisioned a dedicated charging dock.
“Obviously it is early days because the car has only just been shown for the first time and doesn’t officially fully debut until the Paris motor show in September.
“I cannot say 100 percent yes about specification until we’ve had a full review of what is available but my intention to have as much as we can. The little electric scooter in the boot is a neat thing.
“I’m sure we will bring some here to see what the reaction is – it would be something quite novel.
“Whether we have it as an option, or even standard, it’s too early to say but Peugeot is of course well known as a scooter brand and we already import their scooters.”
Rose intends to launch the car here in February of 2017, thus enabling an almost full year of sales to ensure it makes the strongest possible impact.
“It’s one of the most important things to happen to Peugeot (NZ) in the last 10 years,” he responded when asked about his thoughts about the potential volume that the car will deliver.
“It’s incredibly important to us ... the first of multiple SUVs due to launch in 2017 (it) will mark a significant turning point for Peugeot in New Zealand, allowing us to actively compete in what is now the largest segment of the Kiwi market."
Not only is the new model bigger, lighter and a better performer than its predecessor, but it is also said to be smarter. Peugeot head office is calling it their brand’s "most advanced vehicle" to date.
It is the first Peugeot to feature the firm's new i-Cockpit with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and a 12.3 inch screen instrument cluster. It also has a number of connectivity and driver assistance features.
There are four petrol models to choose from, ranging from .2 to 1.6 litres and five diesel options, ranging from 1.6 to 2.0-litres.
Rose says the final NZ-market drivetrain choices are still being determined but it will be likely the most powerful and largest capacity units will be his priority, which suggests the 123kW petrol and the 112kW diesel are likely candidates.
As a model based on the new EMP2 platform, the 3008 is also good to go with Peugeot’s plug-in hybrid drivetrain and will configure in that low-emissions format from 2019. A small electric engine will drive the front wheels and an electric motor will run the rears – making it the only 4x4 in the range.
All other variants of the 3008 will be offered with Grip Control – a torque management system that controls the power directed to the front wheels to maximise traction on slippery surfaces.
Peugeot is also planning fully electric versions of the 2008 and 208.
The i-Cockpit functionality is a big step up It allows drivers to enhance the driving experience at the push of a button. They can adjust the lighting ambience, change audio settings, control seat massagers and even adjust the aroma in the car via a "fragrance diffuser."
The screen also hosts a 3D sat nav mapping system showing buildings, monuments and terrain contours. With TomTom Traffic, it gives real-time journey information, such as local weather, car-parks, service stations. Rose says this feature is one he is keen to see here.
Mirror Screen, meanwhile, allows a user's smartphone screen to be displayed on the car's in-car touchscreen display. The phone's voice recognition function can then be used to make calls, send text messages, get route information and choose music. All audio is played over a 10-speaker sound-system, with technology from French audio firm Focal.
Among the driver assistance features are Active Safety Brake and Distance Alert, which notifies drivers of potential collisions and reduces speed automatically if required, and Active Involuntary Crossing Line, which keeps the vehicle in lane.
A Driver Alert Warning function provides speed alerts and reminders to take a break from driving every two hours.
Visiopark 1 and 2 uses cameras to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle and there is also Automatic High Beam Assistance for automatically switching between high beam and low beam for the benefit of oncoming traffic.
It also merits Speed Sign Detection and Recommendation, Adaptive Cruise Control and Active Blind Spot Monitoring System and Park Assist features.
The 3008 has been stretched by 80mm so that it is now 4450mm long, with particular benefit to rear-seat passengers. In addition, 90 litres of luggage capacity has been added, giving it 520 litres in total. Removing the luggage cover and folding down the rear seats increases this to 1580 litres.
Peugeot cites that loading luggage into all that space is made easier by way of a hands-free tailgate that can be opened or closed by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper.
Rose says it is too early to discuss pricing. “We’re just too far away. All I can say is that it will be as market competitive as possible.”
The current 3008, meanwhile, is now officially on runout and, on the current sales pace, supply might be exhausted up to four months ahead of changeover.