Hybrids are all about saving fuel, so haven't you ever wondered why they're fitted with petrol engines? After all, diesels are more economical.
Well, you need wonder no more: the 3008 Hybrid4 making its debut on the Peugeot stand at the Paris motor show today will be the world's first production diesel hybrid when it goes on sale next year. The new technology means our current Car of the Year will soon manage 74.4mpg, while emitting just 99g/km of CO2.
How it all works
The diesel engine drives the front wheels, while the electric motor powers the rear wheels. This ensures the 3008 Hybrid4 will be the most efficient four-wheel-drive vehicle car on the market.
The electric motor is powered by a pack of nickel metal hydride batteries housed under the 3008's boot. Peugeot has opted for these batteries as opposed to the lithium-ion batteries used by upcoming electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf because this set-up is 'the most appropriate in terms of cost and industrialisation for vehicles produced in large volumes'.
Power is delivered through Peugeot's six-speed semi-automatic gearbox, and there'll be four driving modes to choose from. These are:
• Auto mode: where the entire system is automatically controlled
• ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mode: when the car runs on electric power only
• Four-wheel drive mode (4WD): Peugeot says at low speed this allows for 'all-terrain' capabilities equivalent to those of an SUV
• Sport mode: allows for quicker gear changes at faster engine speeds
How much will it cost?
Peugeot hasn't released prices for the 3008 Hybrid4, but stresses that the car will be a 'fully loaded premium vehicle'. The current range-topper costs nearly 23,000, so expect prices to be higher than that.
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However, low running costs should be guaranteed. Owners won't have to pay road tax or London's Congestion Charge. Company car tax will be calculated at 13%, the lowest possible rate for a diesel, but Peugeot says this is being reconsidered because the Government hasn't taxed a diesel hybrid before.
Peugeot is also keen to stress that, because of the modular nature of the diesel hybrid set-up, the technology used in the 3008 Hybrid4 will be used in models in the Peugeot-Citroen group. The forthcoming Peugeot 508 family car will be the next diesel hybrid and the technology will 'cascade by volume' from there.