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Friday, 8 January 2010

Peugeot wants to change, but is the SR1 the right path?

Peugeot wants to take a big step forward. In fact, three, as it aims to become the seventh biggest automaker in the world (it is currently the tenth). Besides changing its badge for the one you can see at the end of gallery below, it has announced 14 new cars from up to 2012. Will it work? If the new design directions it takes are well received by the public, perhaps. And the SR1 Concept gives us a hint on what this new design direction will be.

Some have called this car stunning, but it really does not look that striking or revolutionary for us. It's nice, to say the most. Anyway, the car presents other qualities that may help it sell well, if it manages to reach the production lines.

The SR1 is 4.83 m long, 1.92 m wide, 1.25 m tall and bears a wheelbase of only 2.60 m (not enough for a car this big). It points out one of Peugeot's main problems lately: big overhangs. They may help the car look beautiful (discussable), but are a pain in the neck for handling.

In a straight line, anyway, the SR1 is able to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 s, a respectable mark. This is due to the total 230 kW (313 bhp) the car has available. Follower of the HYbrid4 concept (preached by Peugeot for a long time, but still not accomplished), it uses a 1.6-litre turbocharged THP engine, good for 160 kW (218 bhp), for the front wheels, and an electric powerplant, able to generate 70 kW (95 bhp) for the rear wheels. All that with only 119 g/km of carbon dioxide.

The transmission is a six-speed automated manual gearbox. No double-clutch mentioned, a sign Peugeot should be concerned about other things rather than design. Double-clutch automated transmissions are considered to be the best units of the world and should become predominant in the years to come.

Peugeot also says the car is a unique 2+1 vehicle (as if it was something to be proud about; Toyota iQ, that tiny little thing, is a 3+1) and will present the car at the Geneva Motor Show, in March, with shiny 20" alloy wheels. We still ask: will that be enough to reach the seventh biggest automaker goal? Car buyers will decide.

Source: Peugeot

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