With the official unveiling of the Peugeot 208 just days away, images of the new French supermini have been leaked online.
The elongated rear lights and triple LED daytime running lights mimic the design cues of Peugeot's new SUV line up. No bad thing as the French manufacturer's design has picked up drastically from the dreary 3008 and gopping 1007 of the noughties.
Peugeot made a big fuss when it decided to shrink its steering wheel in most of its models a few years ago. The idea behind this was to get the brand's dynamic driving image back into the public conscience. While the 308 is one of the best driving hatchbacks in its class, the 208 will need much more than a tiny steering wheel to overtake the Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper as the best handling supermini.
Elsewhere on the inside we see a large touchscreen, but it's also nice to see Peugeot haven't forgotten the practical uses of good old fashioned buttons with shortcut switches located on the central dash.
Going back to the handling aspects, Peugeot have made great strides in driver involvement lately but this Peugeot will feature a new shared platform which will be sized to accommodate an electric motor in the near future. The new 208 will be available with a range of petrol, diesel and electric motors. Peugeot have developed a CMP (Common Modular Platform) which means no cabin space will be lost between the combustion engine or electric models despite using the same platform. It would be some achievement for Peugeot's new platform to have class-leading handling characteristics despite having the flexibility for electric, petrol and diesel power.
Peugeot have been somewhat late to the game of electric cars, either that or they've taken a purposeful disinterest. Recently though, there have been murmurings the next 208 GTi could be electrified, shock horror. As you can see in these shots they've actively shown the 208's electric capabilities with a gratuitous photo of it charging up. While an expected 186 mile (300km) range isn't ground-breaking, it does at least match the updated Renault Zoe R110.
Peugeot are clearly unsure whether to embrace electrification and the 208 exemplifies this. We'll have to wait, along with Peugeot, to see if the electric 208 sells well enough to command an electric 208 GTi. If their recent form in the SUV sector is anything to go by, the 208 should be a healthy contender in the supermini class, much like its predecessors.