There is a battle that rages inside every environmentally conscious driver between getting better mileage with a diesel or to go for a hybrid and cut emissions. Now, you can get the best of both worlds with the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, which is the world’s first production diesel-fueled hybrid vehicle.
Whereas most hybrids, such as the Prius, use a petrol-powered engine, the Peugeot 3008 boasts a 163bhp 2.0-liter turbo diesel unit, that powers the front wheels, while an electric motor (27bhp continuous / 37bhp maximum) drives the rear axle. Thanks to the diesel engine, the car is also more fuel efficient than most hybrids.
The vehicle’s other statistics are also impressive. Not only does it have a four-wheel drive mode, but the diesel engine features a second generation Stop & Start system and is hooked up to an electronically-controlled manual six-speed sequential gearbox. The total system output is 200-horsepower with a combined maximum torque of 500Nm (369 lb-ft), split 300Nm (221 lb-ft) at the front axle from the diesel unit and 200Nm (148 lb-ft) at the rear generated by the electric motor. An energy recovery system harnesses the kinetic energy created by the vehicle during deceleration and transforms it into electrical energy to recharge the Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries located under the boot floor, near the electric motor.
However all of this hybrid technology comes at a cost and in the Hybrid4’s case, that price is weight. The diesel engine and hybrid setup adds another 120kg (264lb) to the overall weight of the vehicle. However, to compensate, the driver can choose to run the vehicle in front-drive only, rear-drive only and all-wheel drive modes depending on the journey.
Four different operating modes can also be selected: In “Auto” mode, the electronics manage the change between the diesel engine and the electric motor for maximum economy. In “ZEV” mode, the car runs on pure electricity for a maximum drive range of 4.5 km or 2.8 miles. “4WD” mode instructs both power trains to operate together for as much as possible, while the sport mode puts the full 200-horsepower system front and centre. As a result, the vehicle’s fuel consumption is impressive with figures of 3.8lt/100km (equal to 61.9mpg US or 74.4mpg UK) and CO2 emissions of only 99g/km. In terms of performance, the French automaker claims a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of 8.8 seconds and a top speed of 209km/h (130mph).
The Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 will be built at the firm’s Sochaux and Mulhouse plants in France, and sales on the continent are expected to start early next year.