Peugeot could have dubbed its latest launch My Left Foot for the dawn of the impressive 308 Ecomatique renders drivers' clutch foot virtually redundant, writes Declan O’Byrne.
Not only technologically advanced, the new 308 HDi diesel Ecomatique offers lower emissions and is more frugal than the original. And it's economical in other key areas too - the 308 SE 1.6 HDi 110bhp five-door model will carry a price tag here starting from €24,256 plus dealer delivery related charges. And it qualifies for the lowest Band A road tax of €104.
The car, says Peugeot, boasts consumption savings of a further 12 per cent compared to the already low B Rate-emission manual diesel model and retails at a lower price, thanks to its low CO2 emissions and subsequent VRT Band A rate of 14.
But the star of the show is undoubtedly the new six-speed MCP gearbox, an ingenious electronically controlled six-speed manual-piloted unit, which removes the need for a clutch pedal, providing a genuine alternative to a traditional manual gearbox.
The gearbox will not lose fans of the manual gearshift, but gives them another significant option of stress-free driving provided by automatic gear changes.
The development arises from the latest developments in electronic control system software and the latest-generation of electro-hydraulic actuators and has been designed in-house by Peugeot.
Gowan Distributors’ MD David McConnell said the arrival of the 308 Ecomatique was an important addition to the Peugeot stable, offering consumers here an automatic driving experience without the stigma of high CO2 emissions and subsequent high motoring taxes.
The 308 SX 1.6 HDI 110bhp six-speed manual 3dr/5dr is priced from €26,063.
Peugeot Service Club
Peugeot recently celebrated the first year of its customer loyalty programme, Service Club. Open to everybody, every make, and every model, the Peugeot Service Club entitles each driver to every fourth service free of charge,
This includes an oil change and new filter, a pollen filter inspection, engine coolant check and top-up, a battery check, brake and steering fluid check and top-up, a tyre check, front and rear brake check, clutch and handbrake check, suspension and brake lines check, diagnostic check, and test drive.
To join the Peugeot Service Club, motorists are invited to call into their local Peugeot dealership or log on to www.peugeot.ie to request a service club key tag. Each time the vehicle is serviced, this tag is punched. When three punches are made, the driver is entitled to the fourth service free. Should the driver schange their car before availing of the free service, the card entitles them to extra discount off the sale of any new or used car instead.
Mark Hayes, marketing manager at Gowan Distributors Limited, Irish Peugeot Importers, said: “In today’s economy, consumers are looking for greater value for money. Drivers of all makes of cars are joining our service club because it’s free to join and it offers unparalleled savings off the cost of car servicing.”