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Peugeot 207 turbos on

Taste-test: Pug's 207 GT will be a teaser for an all-new 207 GTI.

Australia’s first turbocharged petrol Peugeot will pip BMW's new Mini to the post

9 Oct 2006

PEUGEOT will release its first turbocharged petrol-powered model in Australia next March. The GT will be the flagship of the new 207 range until the GTI hot-hatch – expected to be badged the RC in Europe – debuts towards the end of 2007.

Slotting in where the old 102kW 206 GTI resided, the GT, in three-door hatchback-only guise for now, will be pitched as a sporty/luxury model.

Priced at around $31,500, it will include stability control, a ‘Panoramic’ glass sunroof that extends from the windscreen’s base, climate=control air-conditioning, tyre-pressure monitors, rear parking radar, part-leather seat trim and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The 207 GT also marks the Australian debut of the PSA Peugeot Citroen/BMW Group petrol engine collaboration.

The next-generation Mini, the R56, will arrive from about March with its own versions of this alliance powerplant.

For the 207 GT, it is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit dubbed the EP6DT Turbo High Pressure (THP) unit.

Unique to Peugeot in this state of tune, it features a compression ratio of 10.5:1, and delivers 110kW of power at 5800rpm.

Low-rev torque accessibility is an EP6DT highlight, with 156Nm available from 1000rpm, while the 240Nm maximum occurs at just 1400rpm – a range that Peugeot believes might be a world-record for a petrol-powered engine of this size.

Besides attracting lower taxation penalties, the 1.6-litre turbo combination was deemed ideal for achieving best-possible fuel economy and low emissions ratings, in an engine with a power output that is comparable to a 2.0-litre unit.

Being lightweight and compact enough for a disparate range of light, as well as small-car, applications was another goal.

Direct-injection is employed, using a pump located at the end of the inlet camshaft to feed fuel (at a maximum pressure of 120 bar) through high-pressure injectors via a fuel distribution rail directly and laterally into the combustion chamber.

Since there is less fuel in contact with the cylinder walls, more of it is burnt, thus reducing wastage.

23 center imageMeanwhile, a 'Twin-Scroll' turbocharger, a first for a 1.6-litre engine, utilises paired exhaust ports in the exhaust manifold and turbocharger, resulting in a pulsating action from the exiting exhaust gases, which drives the turbocharger’s turbine more effectively, and from a lower rev point, which in turn significantly cuts down lag.

The THP engine boasts has variable valve timing, which employs hydraulic tappets that automatically adjust the valve clearances in the engine cylinder head, while roller valve rockers are used for all the mechanical engine components for reduced friction.

Another efficiency innovation is an oil pump that supplies the exact volume of oil necessary, so it can save up to 160 Watts of energy, while a thermostat in the oil-filter regulates the oil temperature more effectively. Both actions measurably reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

This engine also uses aluminium crankcase construction for added strength and rigidity, and better noise suppression properties.

For the 207 GT, it is mated to PSA’s long-lived BE4/5S five-speed manual gearbox, although the spacing of the gears has been altered and the gear ratios are closer.

Six speeds were ruled out on costs grounds. No automatic gearbox will be available for now.

Weighing in at 1281kg (around 150kg up on the equivalent 206), the 207 GT nevertheless betters its predecessor for performance and economy.

The standstill to 100km/h sprint time takes 8.1 seconds (206 GTI: 10.1 seconds) on the way to a 210km/h top speed, while the 80km/h to 120km/h time in fifth gear is 8.2 seconds (206 GTI: 10.1 seconds).

The European combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 7.0L/100km – a 0.7L/100km improvement over the old car – while carbon-dioxide emissions are recorded at 166g/km, versus 185g/km.

Over the regular 207, the GT gains firmer mountings for the MacPherson strut front suspension, the rear suspension’s torsion beam is 12.5 per cent stiffer, while the hydraulic dampers have been retuned for a sportier feel.

The electric power-steering system has also been modified slightly, since the GT uses lower and wider 205/45 R17 Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

With an equal number of engineers from each firm, BMW brought its Valvetronic variable-valve technology, while PSA says that it leaned on the direct-injection expertise it has accumulated with the HDi turbo-diesel engines.

On the subject of diesels, this petrol engine family’s basic structure is derived from the 1.6-litre unit PSA devised with Ford. Peugeot was also responsible for all the manufacturing and supplier contracting.

All of Peugeot’s engines are built in Douvrin in France, while the BMW units are either manufactured, or completed, at Hams Hall in England.

An 88kW non-turbo variation of this 1598cc powerplant will also propel mid-range 207 models, while a tuned and tweaked edition producing 128kW forms the centrepiece of the GTI.

Future recipients of the co-op engine within PSA include the 307 and its 308 successor, as well as the Citroen C4.

Outside of Australia, Peugeot has offered a turbocharged petrol engine in a variety of models over the last 15 years, including in the 406 and 605.

We did see Peugeot’s 108kW/235Nm 2.0-litre LPT low-pressure turbo unit, however, in the Citroen Xantia CT and Activa editions during the late 1990s.

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