The Geneva Motor Show offers, as a major attraction, the duel between the new Renault Clio and Peugeot 208. In the background: a leading position
The 89th Motor Show in Geneva , to be held until March 17th, is the scene of the first round of a match for a number one spot in the B segment, in Europe as in France, for the moment dominated by the Renault Clio. A growing niche thanks to the SUV mode but the sedan retains its followers …
The two newcomers, the Renault Clio generation 5 and the Peugeot 208 generation 2, will certainly give him a major interest. Two French women with different characters and strategies, Renault relying on a stylistic continuity, Peugeot relying on a radically innovative look.
The same Clio but better
On the morning of the first day reserved for the press, Thursday, March 7, 2019, Thierry Bolloré , CEO of the Renault group, announced the colour:
“Everything is absolutely new on the new Clio, although at first sight it is not obvious, but the effort has focused on a general bonus of the car.”
A job that Laurens Van den Acker , the boss of the diamond brand’s style, has completed with his team. “We have improved and modernized the Clio to make it even more attractive and more upscale,” he said on the Renault stand before the star of the moment moved onto the turntable.
Capitalize on the previous Clio
Olivier Brosse , director of the Clio program, then outlined the outline of the new DNA of the car: “the new Clio inaugurates a platform that will also be used by Nissan and Mitsubishi . It has the particularity of being able to adapt to the electrical energy and can become an autonomous vehicle. And the philosophy was to capitalize on the success of the Clio 4, hence a slight evolution of the style.
The Clio 5 loses 1 cm in length (4.05 m) and as much in height (1.44 m) but gains 2 cm in wheelbase (2.58 m) and the trunk 60 liters (391 liters). The optical blocks are 100% LED and offer a new look in 3D finish. A lot of work has been done on the ergonomics, habitability and quality of the materials used.
At its launch at the end of the summer, it will have diesel and gasoline then, very quickly, a hybrid combining a 1.6 liter thermal 90 hp with an electric of 35 kW to travel 4 to 5 km with 0 emission.
A more aggressive 208
At Peugeot, the policy was very different in terms of style and the design office led by Gilles Vidal had carte blanche … to start from a blank page.
As a result, the new 208 is more athletic, more muscular, more aggressive in summary. It shows a more assertive character in a chiseled dress with great care. Its length has taken 7 cm (4.05 m), for the benefit of the wheelbase, therefore of the habitability and the trunk.
“We are at a turning point in the automobile industry and we had to write a new story,” explains Yann Beurel , Range Manager and Project Manager 208. Thus, it benefits from a new platform to accommodate engines as well. Diesel, petrol and electric, and his dress clearly marks a change with a longer hood and a deep drawn back. The electric model that will appear at the end of the year will be identical because, after a survey, people who adopt it did not want to display their difference.
A new e-cockpit for the 208
The first 208 had inaugurated the e-cockpit, a small revolution in the organisation of a dashboard, but necessarily everything was not perfect. The 3008 had already erased some imperfections, including increasing the diameter of the steering wheel from 35 to 36 cm and adding a flat on the top. “For the new 208, we reworked the entire dashboard in three layers, the top for the eyes, the middle for the hands, the bottom for the body,” says Eric Dejou , the head of the interior style.
“Thus, the analog dials have been replaced by 3D digital screens, more legible and with information that can scroll at the request of the driver, the wheel is that of the 3008 and the controls are more accessible while the car being lower, the driver finds a possibly lower position. Lastly, more smart spaces have been created for smartphone storage, for example, “explains Eric Dejou.