With new investor information coming to light, it seems Bermaz’s big plans for the Peugeot brand will start very early in 2022 and carry on all the way to the end of next year, kicking off with highly anticipated 2008.
Slated to see an official launch as early as January, the French marque’s B-segment contender is reported to have already begun local assembly at the newly christened Stellantis (formerly Naza) plant in Gurun, Kedah, making immediate and sustained deliveries a very real possibility.
As the name denotes, the crossover is essentially a high-riding version of the 2nd-generation Peugeot 208 hatchback, which was named 2020’s European Car of the Year, among other awards. Naturally, the 2008 shares its mechanicals with the incoming Malaysia-spec car expected to field the familiar turbocharged 1.2-litre PureTech 3-cylinder petrol engine producing 130PS and 230Nm.
However, like the recently launched 2008 in Thailand (also assembled in Kedah), local units will find its three-pot engine driving the front wheels via a 6-speed EAT6 automatic transmission as opposed to the newer 8-speed auto (EAT8) found in other markets.
Also in line with the 2008 in Thailand, Malaysian examples are expected to be offered solely in Allure trim, offering LED headlights and daytime running lights, 17-inch Salamanca alloy wheels, and keyless entry.
Inside, each 2008 should also come as standard with leather seats, a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen display, a 10-inch digital instrument cluster, and a six-speaker audio system alongside Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Crucially, it will also receive active safety features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, and Blind Spot Monitoring in addition to automatic high beam and a reversing camera. Of course, the basics are also covered with 6 airbags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control.
Meanwhile, though the e-2008’s debut is all but certain for the latter part of 2022, the specifics of the final vehicle due here are a little murkier. Alongside other EVs offered under Bermaz's offensive next year such as the Kia EV6 and Mazda MX-30, the Peugeot should be the more accessible proposition by a significant margin.
It’s likely to arrive with the same equipment list as the petrol-powered 2008, but with its engine swapped out for an electric motor driving the front wheels. Power and torque are comparable on paper at 134hp and 260Nm, but it obviously will feel brisker on the road with maximum torque available instantly.
Each e-2008 offered globally is fitted with a 50kWh battery (46.2kWh usable), which despite its middling capacity yields very respectable a WLTP range of 345km per charge. DC fast charging of up to 100kW is possible should the charging station allow, which should take a depleted battery about 30 minutes to reach 80%.
In more conventional circumstances, you’re looking at just over 5 hours when plugged into an 11kW three-phase wallbox, 8 hours with a 7.4kW single-phase wallbox, and about 16 hours when hooked up to a 230-volt domestic socket.
Visually, the e-2008 isn’t very far off the 2008, only differentiating itself with a new set of aerodynamic wheels and low roll-resistance tyres as well as a front grille with active shutter accents that are colour matched to the body, among other EV-specific optimisations.
It should be an interesting battle between this and the recently launched Kona Electric from Hyundai, especially if the Peugeot can match or undercut Korea's best on price while offering more value and a certain French flair.
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