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PSA Peugeot Citroen, Bosch working on compressed-air, battery-free hybrid

01/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Emerging Technologies, Hybrid, GM, PSA, Citroen, Peugeot

PSA Hybrid Air

Nike single-handedly popularized the term "swoosh." If a new and unexpected project works out as planned, PSA Peugeot Citroen might do the same with "whoosh."

PSA Peugeot Citroen is working on a drivetrain that would hybridize a conventional engine with compressed air in one of the automaker's B-segment compact hatchbacks. The vehicle, which could go into production as soon as 2016, would include a hydraulic pump that allows the car to run in all-gasoline, all-air or combined (aka "hybrid air") modes. The system, which is being developed with Bosch, could offer more than 80 miles per gallon (on the more lenient European driving cycle) without the need for a big hybrid battery. PSA Peugeot Citroen is ultimately looking to develop an air hybrid that would get 118 miles per gallon.

Additionally, a PSA Peugeot Citroen spokesman tells Automotive News that General Motors may use the air hybrid system as well. Early last year, GM acquired a seven-percent stake in PSA Peugeot Citroen as part of an agreement in which the two companies plan to share vehicle platforms and components. PSA Peugeot Citroen's press release is available below.

Other air cars (not hybrids like this one) have been tried before, but the promises we heard about those didn't always turn out.

Continue reading PSA Peugeot Citroen, Bosch working on compressed-air, battery-free hybrid

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Rendered Speculation: Citroen DS5 premium diesel hybrid

05/06/2009   [Original: Auto Express via Autoblog]
Category: Hybrids/Alternative, Euro, Green, PSA, Citroen, Rendered Speculation

Last week, French automaker PSA-Peugeot-Citroen announced the development of the world's first hybrid diesel powertrain. Called HYbrid4, the propulsion system is earmarked for initial implementation on the Peugeot 3008 crossover. But after that, its sister-company Citroen will use the system in an all-new vehicle: the DS5.

Following on the heels of the Citroen DS3 premium hatchback displayed at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the DS5 will be the second vehicle in the company's revived premium line. Styling, as this initial rendering suggests, should follow along the same line, but in a sleeker, more elongated form. But the real party trick will be under the hood, with the option of serial or parallel hybrid propulsion through the front, rear or all four wheels, all the while reducing complicated moving parts in the process. Sources suggest the use of the HYbrid4 system would add less than $3,000 to the car's list price, while returning significant improvement in fuel economy and emitting 35% less CO2 than even its particulate-filtering conventional counterparts. The Citroen DS5 could be on the road as early as 2011.

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French unions try a new negotiating tactic: kidnapping

04/15/2009   [Original: Edmunds via Autoblog]
Category: Euro, PSA, UAW/Unions

Parts suppliers are experiencing just as much trouble as the automakers they supply. Employees at one company, though, have taken a tip from Somali pirates and upped the anger stakes. When Faurecia felt it had been wronged by Chrysler, it took Chrysler to court. When Faurecia's employees in France felt they had been wronged by the company they work for, they kidnapped three managers for five hours.

Faurecia announced plant shutdowns and restructuring in December, and some militant union members didn't appreciate the cut employees were getting, so they locked up the execs. In the immediate aftermath the union didn't receive anything additional. But last week Faurecia received €1.63 billion from banks and majority owner Peugeot, and union negotiations are scheduled to begin again later this month.

Faurecia isn't the only victim of the new tactic -- French execs at Sony, 3M, Caterpillar, and Scapa have also been "sequestered" for varying lengths of time. And they probably won't be last: surveys show that 45% of the French population find the tactic acceptable.

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Fiat-PSA Merger: In the cards or off the table?

01/27/2009   [Original: Detroit News via Autoblog]
Category: Euro, PSA, FIAT, Rumormill

Everybody remembers the first two rules of Fight Club. But what about the rest of them? Like the fourth rule: "Only two guys to a fight," and the fifth rule: "One fight at a time, fellas." In mergers and acquisitions terms, only two parties to a merger, and one merger at a time. Well it looks like the fellas over at Fiat might want to watch the movie read the book over again, because they appear to have forgotten the rules.

Since parting ways with General Motors, Fiat has been looking for a new partner in which to form an alliance. Before the alliance with Chrysler surfaced, there were reported talks with French auto group PSA, parent company to both Peugeot and Citroen. It got to the point where even Italian and French government leaders were discussing how they could facilitate the deal. But once the Chrysler tie-up emerged, everyone assumed the PSA deal was dead in the water. Apparently not everybody, because even with the Chrysler deal inked, the latest reports suggest that certain elements within Fiat - namely the Agnelli family, its biggest shareholder - are still interested in merging with the French automaker. Fiat denies the possibility, while PSA had no comment. Even without taking Chrysler into account, the merger between PSA (Europe's second largest automaker) and Fiat (Europe's third largest) would put it in contention with Volkswagen for the largest in Europe and third largest in the world. Adding Chrysler's output to the equation could put the mega group within striking distance of Toyota and General Motors for the title of the world's largest automaker.

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Rumormill: Peugeot/Citroen to buy Honda F1?

12/16/2008   [Original: F1-Live via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Honda, PSA, Peugeot, Citroen, Rendered Speculation

Back when Alain Prost ran an F1 team, after jettisoning engines supplied by Mugen-Honda, it was Peugeot that left Jordan to sign up with Prost. Things didn't go well, and Peugeot jumped ship three years later. But it's possible that Peugeot feels it has some unfinished business in F1. Rumor has it that among the folks snooping around Honda's F1 operations is PSA, the parent company of Peugeot/Citroen. Supposedly not as hurt by the downturn as its rivals, and with F1 cost cutting in extra strength mode, PSA thinks now is the time to buy Honda's operations, benefit from Honda's promised assistance, and go head-to-head with its French rival Renault. Were such a thing to pass, speculation is that Peugeot would put Sebastien Bourdais and Jenson Button in the cockpits.

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Paris Preview: Peugeot Prologue concept

09/17/2008   [Original: Peugeot via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Hybrids/Alternative, Euro, Green, Paris Motor Show, Hatchbacks, PSA, Peugeot

Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Peugeot Prologue concept

Peugeot's new, Paris-bound hybrid concept car is called the Prologue, and based on how Peugeot describes it in the press release that accompanied these three photos, it shows us where the French automaker is headed stylistically and technologically. The Prologue is a perfectly normal-looking 5-door hatchback with a new, less-horrific take on the gaping-maw look with which the Peugeot range has been saddled in recent years. Now it just looks angry, instead of like a boxer about to spit out his mouth guard. The Prologue's hybrid powertrain is apparently good for 200 horsepower and emits 109 g/km of CO2 per kilometer. We'll have the final word on the Prologue -- an epilogue, so to speak -- from the Paris Motor Show next month.

Gallery: Peugeot Prologue Concept

Continue reading Paris Preview: Peugeot Prologue concept

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Paris 2008 Preview: Citroen to bring back the 2CV?

08/05/2008   [Original: Auto Unleashed via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Euro, Paris Motor Show, PSA, Citroen, Rumormill

Click above for a hi-res gallery of the Citroen 2CV

Resurrecting the cars that put automakers on the map seems to be all the rage in the industry these days. Volkswagen brought back the Beetle a few years back and, more recently, Fiat resurrected the 500. Porsche... well, the 911 never really went away. But you get the idea. One iconic turning-point of an automobile that has yet to be awakened is the Citroen 2CV.

Launched after the end of WWII in 1949, the Citroen 2CV (so named because of its two-steam-horsepower equivalent rating) grew extremely popular due to its low cost and versatility. It could go anywhere, consumed little gas, and was extremely simple both to build and to maintain. By the time the last one rolled off the production line in 1990 - now that's one heck of a run - over 3.8 million units were built, and the 2CV gained iconic status and a cult following. Next year Citroen will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 2CV. Given the momentous occasion, the coincidence of the show's alternate location in Paris this year and how poised the current economic climate would be for such a vehicle, it would seem an ideal time for PSA to give us a new 2CV that could put the French automaker back on the map with a low-cost vehicle to rival the Tata Nano, only with more character. Whether Citroen actually has any such plans is of course pure speculation at this point, so we'll just have to sit back and wait until October to find out.

Gallery: Citroen 2CV

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Peugeot to produce pretty 308 RC-Z

02/24/2008   [Original: AutoBild via Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, Geneva Motor Show, PSA, Peugeot

click the picture to view a Google translated version of the source

PSA is putting its very attractive 308 RC-Z into series production, and will make a formal announcement at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. When we saw this curvaceous coupe in in Frankfurt last year, German flooded our imagination. As has been previously pointed out, there's a lot of Audi TT in the roofline, and the side elevation evokes the Karmann Ghia. We can give Peugeot a pass on that, since the car's designer is German, and there are worse fates than aping two very stylish coupes.

The design hides easter eggs for alert viewers, too. The roof and backlight are formed from polycarbonate and use a double bubble shape to increase headroom for occupants, while at the same time evoking racers by Zagato. The upkick in the doors where they meet the rear quarter windows also offers visual amusement, too. Underhood is a direct-injected, 218-horsepower 1.6L four-cylinder that's shared with the MINI. With less than 2,700 pounds to haul around and Peugeot's storied suspension prowess, the grin might never leave your face.

The 308 RC-Z would be a great vehicle to lead Peugeot's return to the North American market. Many may remember unreliable chariots of woe when they think of Peugeot, but we can't shake our affection for the 405 Mi16. With small cars and coupes showing signs of life, now could be the time, and we think this car would sell better than useless crap on eBay. Thanks for the tip, vlatko!

Gallery: Peugeot 308 RC Z

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Peugeot 3008 crossover to join the charge... forward

02/21/2008   [Original: Auto Express via Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, SUVs, Euro, Crossovers/CUVs, PSA, Peugeot, Citroen

It's more than a little unusual to see the French mounting an assault on anything, but reports indicate that French automakers are attacking the crossover sport-utility market with a vengeance. In Geneva, Renault will unveil the production version of the Koleos crossover, which follows the Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4008 as the first SUVs from the land of fashion and crepes. Now Peugeot is preparing its second wave in the form of the 3008 crossover.

Targeting the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan, the 3008 is expected to hit European markets in 2010. Power will reportedly come from 1.6-liter turbocharged fours burning either gas or oil and driving either two wheels or four. Inside, flexible seating configurations are expected to be on offer in both five- and seven-seat formats. The styling is anticipated to follow closely along Peugeot's design language, with a big mouth and a prominent badge on the hood. And since where there's smoke there's an overturned car on fire, Citroen is expected to get its own version, as well.

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Peugeot gets new vans to Partner with Citroen Berlingo

01/03/2008   [Original: Peugeot via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Minivans/MPVs, Euro, Commercial Trucks, PSA, Peugeot

Where there's smoke, there's fire. And while most wouldn't think of a miniscule European van as hot, PSA's Peugeot brand has its day in the sun with its new Partner vans, unveiled together with its sister-company Citroen's new Berlingo.

The new Partner is virtually identical to its partner, the Berlingo, but is distinguished by some unique features and sheetmetal. The passenger version is labeled the Partner Tepee and gets a multi-function roof called "Zenith". It's also available with a pseudo-off-road package called the Partner Tepee Outdoor. The outgoing version, on the market since 1996, continues on as the entry-level Partner Origin (like the Berlingo First). And, of course, there's a utilitarian version set up for light commercial use with a 1.8-meter long cargo floor that can be extended to 3 meters by dropping the Multi-Flex passenger seats, which gives the Partner LCV an additional 400 liters (14 cubic feet) of cargo space on top of the 3,300-liter (116 cubic-foot) conventional capacity.

Gallery: Peugeot new Partner

Continue reading Peugeot gets new vans to Partner with Citroen Berlingo

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