That Peugeot is planning to enter India is no secret. The company’s officials were even reported to be looking for land in Tamil Nadu to set up a plant some while ago. The question, thus, is not ‘whether’ but ‘when’ and ‘how’. Dr Rajesh Nellore heads the brand in India as the Managing Director.
There has been some speculation on which cars the French carmaker wants to introduce in India first. An official statement on the company’s website says “the brand will produce, as a first step, a mid-sized sedan car. The future production site’s location is currently under evaluation.”
However, in a recent turn of event, one of the members at Team-Bhp have managed to take spy pictures of the 207 and 508 models of the brand undergoing testing on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Here’s some more detail on the two cars that have been caught testing.
The Peugeot 207 is the successor to the 206, which lasted for more than a decade. The first 207 was launched in 2006, and is currently built in various countries including France, Spain, Slovakia and Indonesia.
This smart looking car with trademark sweptback Peugeot headlamps comes equipped with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engines include a 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter mill, in various states of tune. The 1.4-liter unit produces 75, 90, and 95bhp. The 1.6-liter engine is good for 120bhp in its naturally aspirated form, and releasing upto 175 horses in one of the turbo charged avatars. The turbo engines produced by Peugeot are even used by BMW to be employed in their premium, Mini range.
The diesel engines powering the 207 include a 1.4-liter unit with 70 horses, or a 1.6 litre HDi mill with 110bhp. The engines come mated with a five speed manual or a four speed auto transmission.
The Peugeot 207 is internationally available in three-door and station wagon variants as well. A two-door variant was even spotted by the photographer. Both the variants, however, in all probability won’t make it to India, as the body types aren’t quite popular in this part of the world.
When introduced, the 207 would compete with the likes of the Nissan Micra, new Suzuki Swift, Hyundai i20 and the facelifted Honda Jazz. Price should be in the region of the aforementioned cars only.
The Peugeot 508 is D-segment car which was introduced in 2010 internationally. Modern and very well kitted, the 508 has earned critical acclaim across the world as a very accomplished family mover. As sufficiently evident with the sales of cars in the higher segments, diesel engines play a pivotal role in the success of a particular model. The engine suitable for India should be the 2.2-liter turbo diesel good for 200bhp and 458 Nm of torque. The engine is available only with a six-speed auto transmission, and doesn’t currently have a manual transmission. Manual shifts, however can be made via the via paddles or a central selector.
The Peugeot 508 will slug it out with the Honda Accord, Skoda Superb and the VW Passat on release. Expect a price tag in the region of Rs 20 Lakh