Peugeot apparently has a fancy for doing things with a bit of flash. To get an idea, look at their diesel-powered 24 Hours of Le Mans car, which sprung up immediately after Audi began to race on diesel fuel with the R10 TDI smash winner. Now, the trend continues as the company launches their first ever hybrid, and suitably, it’s a diesel. Meet the 3008 Hybrid4 mid size crossover. The hybrid is propelled by the conventional combination of combustion and electric, with motivation coming from a 163 horsepower 2.o litre inline four diesel powering the front wheels, and a completely independent 37 horsepower electric engine powering the rear wheels. To get this power to the ground, the diesel lump in the front uses and electronically controlled and mechanised six speed manual that can also be set to automatic mode. Meanwhile an 8 kilowatt high-voltage integrated starter generator on the engine gives capability for start stop operation, and charging of the hybrid’s nickel metal hydride battery.
Here’s where the conventional stops. When the battery is fully charged, it propels the car around at low speeds, and maintains charge with regenerative braking. But, when things get hairy, both motors can engage at the same time to provide all-wheel-drive. So, you essentially have a front wheel drive car on the highway, a rear wheel drive around town, and an all wheel drive car for when the road surface becomes slightly less hospitable. And there’s more. The combined power figures from both the diesel and electric mills amounts to 200 bhp, and 369 lb-ft of torque. At least in the European market, Toyota Prius’s should be very worried. Actually for that matter nearly every hybrid on that side of the pond should feel athletically challenged.
In addition, and perhaps the best part of all of this? Because the system is mechanically simpler than most other split hybrids, prices should be substantially less expensive. That plus a combined EU cycle rating of 61.9 miles to the gallon (U.S gallon), and just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer make this one very exciting hybrid. Who would have thought it would be possible to say those words about a car with a battery in it?