Peugeot 208 to be smaller and classier

* More space in a smaller package * Improved quality and dynamics * New 408 to replace 407 and 607...

Peugeot 208 to be smaller and classier

Peugeot's forthcoming 208 will buck the trend of vehicles getting bigger, by being smaller than the car it replaces.

Despite this, the replacement for Peugeot's best-selling 207 supermini will offer more interior space and improved quality, although not at a premium price.

Peugeot's CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, said: 'The next 207 and 407 will be a clear indication that Peugeot has changed and will show the future direction of the brand.'

The 208, (as we expect it to be called) will take design cues from the 205 and 206 superminis. Peugeot also hopes to regain its reputation for making great-riding, great-handling cars, helped by the company designing and building its own shock absorbers.

Don't expect to see the 208 in showrooms until at least 2012.

407 replacement
Before then, however, a radical 407 replacement will go on sale probably in 2011.

Although it will be wider (but not necessarily longer) than the current car, it will offer similar rear space to the current 607, with special upmarket models replacing Peugeot's unloved executive model.

We expect the 407 replacement to take the 408 badge, with Jean-Marc Gales saying that the company will stick with the current numbered model categorisation 'for the time being'.

2010 will be an important year for Peugeot. Following the arrival of the 3008 this month, the 5008 compact MPV will be launched in January, followed by the RCZ coupe and the iOn electric car.

Peugeot will also be celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2010.