Click image for photo gallery
"HYBRID!" "DIESEL!" Arguments about which one's the better everyday fuel economy solution sound like old Miller Lite commercials sometimes. Next month in Frankfurt, Peugeot's going to show off its latest stab at mashing them together with the 308 Hybride HDi show car, and if there was ever a happy medium, this might be it. Due as a production vehicle in 2010, the 308 Hybrid combines a stingy-to-begin-with 110 HP 1.6L diesel with an electric motor that produces an additional 22 horsepower. Power's channeled to the front wheels through a 6-speed gearbox that can be operated in full automatic or sequential manual modes. The net result places the hybrid on essentially equal footing with the standard-production 308 2.0L diesel.
Performance numbers are basically the same, with the Hybrid delivering better in-gear acceleration than the regular diesel car. Naturally, it also boasts big-time fuel economy numbers. In the combined-cycle, it gets 69 miles to the gallon (yes, the US gallon). In urban driving, the number goes up to 78 MPG. All the usual hybrid traits are found here. At startup and at low speeds, the electric motor provides motivation, and when the diesel kicks in, the car will call upon the electric powerplant to help with acceleration when necessary. Stop-start tech is standard, of course. The 308 Hybrid concept also has a Zero Emissions mode that's designed to let the car operate freely in "heavily regulated urban centres" (hello, London!). And even when it's not running as a ZEV, its emissions output complies with the Euro 5 standards coming in 2009. The 308 hybrid emits just 90 g/km of CO2 vs the 308 2.0 diesel's 146 g/km.
All of that in a package that is nicely equipped, including a panoramic roof. If Peugeot can keep the production vehicle's pricing generally in line with the rest of the 308 range, they might find Europeans lining up, checkbooks in hand in a couple of years.
Gallery: Peugeot 308 Hybride HDi Concept