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207s review...sounds good

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Peugeot 207 S
safer, stronger, better built and sweeter to drive. These are the claims Peugeot makes of its all-new 207, a supermini with a very tough act to follow. An incredible 5.4 million 206 models have been sold worldwide in the last eight years, so is that success going to continue?

After driving the 207 on its launch in France (issue 902), Auto Express is now the first magazine to put what is arguably the most important new car of the year through its paces on British roads.

One of the model's most striking attributes is its size. The newcomer is much bigger than the 206, which Peugeot will continue to sell as a smaller and cheaper alternative. Dimensionally, the 207 is virtually identical to the old 306 family hatchback, although it looks like a slightly inflated 206. And that's the first drawback - the styling doesn't move the game on very much.

It's similarly proportioned and uses virtually identical styling cues, but they have been exaggerated by a gaping grille, large front badge and vast headlight lenses. The blistered wheelarches and pronounced side sills are all-new, though, and they help to give the 207 a solid stance on the road. It just isn't a very exciting car to look at.

Nor is it that well packaged. Rear seat space is modest (kneeroom in par-ticular is tight) and the 270-litre boot is average for the supermini class.

Passengers don't have a lot of room, due to the space taken up by all the safety kit. On the upside, the 207 has already been awarded five stars for occupant protection, four for child safety and three for pedestrian impact in Euro NCAP crash tests. These results


make it the safest supermini on sale. That's very reassuring, but what most people will notice first is the improved driving position. Reach adjust has been added to the steering, and larger seats make it easier to get comfortable.

With chrome round the dials and a central digital display, the upper part of the dash is well trimmed and designed. However, the heating controls look and feel distinctly budget, while the glovebox is on the small side.

The 16-valve 1.4-litre engine is better, producing 90bhp and a healthy 133Nm of torque. Yet even in three-door guise, the 1,139kg 207 isn't that light. As a result, acceleration is modest, with 0-60mph in 12.7 seconds.

At least the powerplant is relatively smooth and suitably insulated, even if the five-speed manual transmission has a mushy shift. The driving experience, though, is every bit as crisp as we had hoped. Despite being quite firm, the suspension is never uncomfortable, even on rough B-roads.

Add steering that weights up well, great grip plus fine chassis poise, and the Peugeot is neat, controlled and quick round bends. It's not outstandingly agile or sharp, but satisfies keen drivers while remaining smooth and manageable for everyone else.

Prices are broadly in line with rivals, and range from ?8,995 for the entry-level 1.4 8v Urban to ?15,345 for the GT HDi 110. The 1.4 S driven here costs ?10,295. So is the 207 up to the task of challenging the Renault Clio and Fiat's Grande Punto for class honours? As long as buyers aren't after anything too radical, the Peugeot looks set to match the success of its predecessor.
Oliver Marriage
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check the concept

this is the concept..
2006 Peugeot 207 RCup Concept
May 8, 2006
by Justin Couture / American Auto Press
Tigers Cub Set For Rallying

Worried about the current state of the FIA World Rally Champion (WRC) series? Are you jaded because many of the star manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Skoda, Citroen and Hyundai have pulled out, leaving only privateers plus Ford and Subaru behind? Fret no more, as French automaker Peugeot showed a spicy new rally car concept at this years Swiss Motor Show thats based off their all-new 207 subcompact, a production vehicle that was also shown for the first time in Switzerland.

The subcompact 207 is one of Peugeots most important cars, hands down, no exceptions. Though the 207 is a subcompact, no larger than the Toyota Yaris or Honda Fit, its got some enormous shoes to fill, as the 206, the car that it replaces, was the most popular car in the French firms near 100 year history. In fact, the eight year old predecessor is still such a strong seller around the globe that Peugeot will continue to produce it alongside newer cars like the micro-sized 107 and 1007 hatchbacks.

To stress the importance of the new car, Peugeot has been emphasizing this particular model by producing a couple of fun versions. The first in the series, and acting as a preview to the 207s gaping-mouth grille was the three-wheeled 20Cup concept car, an open-roofed, windshield-less racer with a single rear wheel. To bolster the effort, Peugeot will also be presenting the 207 RCup (playing off the name of the performance version of the 206 called the RC), a preview at the WRC-spec rally car that will be hitting the Special Stages in far off lands sometime next year.

While it may look like a standard 207 with a white and red paint scheme, beneath the skin it features a tubular spaceframe that has stretched the car in all dimensions in accordance with the WRC rules. The larger width and track are present for the purpose of giving the 207 road-hugging grip, which in turn are expressed through extra-flared fenders and fascias, constructed from ultra-lightweight composites.

Meanwhile, Peugeot aerodynamicists have added air-extraction ducts in front of all wheels to lessen the dependency on oversized spoilers for downforce. The 207 RCup rides on wide, 235/40R18 rally-style magnesium wheels, with a ride height thats a mere 3.9 inches above the ground.

To get a good look inside the RCup, youll have to open the doors because the car has extremely dark tint on the windows. Inside, its a complete racer, with tubular frame roll cage, racing seats and four-point harnesses to keep driver and navigator strapped in place. Also, like most production-based racing cars, the RCup features the same dashboard and instrument cluster as the 207, but no stereo, carpets or cupholders. All surfaces that the driver contacts - the steering wheel, sequential shifter and handbrake - are trimmed in suede, while the center console has been gutted, and fitted with relevant switches, gauges and other rally car vitals such as the controls to the AWD system.
In the same way that the 207 RCup abides to all the WRC rules and guidelines, in construction materials and dimensions, its power comes from an FIA-sanctioned, naturally aspirated 2.0-liter gasoline engine with four valves per cylinder and dual overhead camshafts, but no variable valve timing or turbocharger, as with the production model. Nevertheless, the 207 RCup still generates an impressive 280-horsepower and has a redline of 8,500 rpm. That should make for one very fast car, concept, race or otherwise.
In the old glory days of 1980s rally car racing, homologation vehicles, production cars that are closely related to the actual race cars in performance, appearance and technology, were mandatory. The latter-day equivalent of the 207 RCup, the Audi Sport Quattro and Peugeots own 205 Turbo appeared on the roads in extremely limited numbers. Unfortunately, since the mid 80s, the FIA dropped this rule, a burden to the manufacturers, and as a result, these fascinating machines became an extinct breed. Nothing new has sprung up in the FIA rule book concerning homologation vehicles, so, the 207 RCup Concept will most likely remain just what its name entails: a concept.
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