Flash back to the Geneva Motor Show in 1998, where Peugeot’s vision of driving pleasure took on a new form in the shape of the 20? concept car generating emotion, admiration and desire. Memories of the elegant 401, 601 and 402 “Eclipse” models of the 1930s were stirred, reviving Peugeot’s close association with a motoring concept based on driving as the mood takes you, in coupé or cabriolet confi guration, through the magic of a retractable rigid roof that folds into the boot space.

The years 2000 and 2003 saw this expertise developed further with the 206 CC “2+2” and the 307 CC with four full size seats, popularising a concept which was considered elitist accessible to the all in the 21st Century. The successors to that fi rst generation have already appeared, with the 207 CC and now the 308 CC, which received its premiere at the Paris Motor Show. By the end of November 2008, Peugeot had produced some 650,000 coupé cabriolets for enthusiasts of this lifestyle motoring concept, making Peugeot the world leader in this body style.

Since the launch of the 307 CC in 2003, the structure of the lifestyle market in the M1 segment has undergone a number of profound changes. Recently, cabriolets with a retractable rigid roof have become more popular than vehicles with a more vulnerable “soft top”. For the majority of customers, the 307 CC is the household’s main car. It is chosen for its clever design and for its elegance, but is also greatly appreciated in daily use for its comfort, specifi cation and ride quality.

The 308 has already replaced the 307 hatchback and SW versions, offering all the benefi ts of its successor while at the same time imposing its new identity, modern feel and strong personality. In the same vein, the 308 CC with its four full-size seats capitalises on all the original benefi ts of the 308, but still embodies the 307 CC with Peugeot’s coupé cabriolet expertise. Attracting customers by touching their “emotional chord” through its attractive design : “a cabriolet for all seasons”, the 308 CC is one of the stars of the Geneva Motor Show.

With its balanced forms, both in coupé and cabriolet confi gurations, the 308 CC cuts an elegant fi gure: modern and dynamic, with a graphic style emphasised even further by light refl ecting contours – an exceptional vehicle with a strong temperament that clearly shows its allegiance to the world of prestige coupé cabriolets; Low-slung, with an aerodynamically positioned front windscreen, a deeply profi led lower front panel, generously sculpted sides with chrome bead decorating the windows, prominent haunches, an original bootlid and spectacular LED rear lights featuring curtain of red light technology, the 308 CC is certainly not lacking in personality.

The exclusive passenger compartment has an undeniable personality, creating the impression of a “Grand Touring” car. The sculpted front seats with their integral head restraints have an inbuilt “Airwave” warm air diffuser which provides warm air around the occupants neck. The rear seats mirror this distinctive design and offer rear accommodation that is surprisingly generous for a cabriolet.

The door panels also have an exclusive design, incorporating an elegant and robust metallic inner door handle. The sports steering wheel, special fi nish of the instrument panel and the black lacquer centre console complete this sylish up-market theme.

In terms of the “sporty” or “haute couture” feel of the car, the 308 CC is trimme with dynamic fabrics, leather or the excusite “integral leather” trim. This now extends to the entire passenger compartment which is rare in this segment. In Black, Vintage or Beige, the attractive interior trims differ according to the range of body colours: fashionable Pearlescent White, subtle Terre d’ombre (dark brown) with an orange spangled effect, and also the established favourites: blue, red, black and grey are available. Meticulously designed to enhance the day-to-day comfort and convenience of its occupants, the 308 CC offers a multitude of “everyday” benefi ts oriented to the best coupé cabriolet lifestyle.

A fully automatic retractable roof
Taking centre stage, the fully automatic retractable roof can transform in 20 seconds and its operation can be viewed on the colour display, turning the car into a dynamic coupé or an elegant cabriolet according to the mood of its occupants.

In harmony with the seasons…
The cabriolet confi guration can even be enjoyed in cold weather, whether it’s making the most of early spring, saying no to winter or driving with the roof down in beautiful snow bound landscapes. Peugeot offers all these pleasures to the occupants of the 308 CC, thanks to its protective architecture, its intelligent air conditioning (which adapts its operation to the cabriolet body shape), heated seats, its windstop and… its remarkable “Airwave” system built into the front seats, which acts like a scarf by diffusing warm air that can be adjusted for temperature, fl ow and direction.

Excellent vibration damping
Inside the 308 CC an excellent structural rigidity reduces any vibrations that might affect steering, rear vision or seat comfort. This is the result of carefully placed structural reinforcements: through specifi c dampers and structural bracing… In short, the 308 CC offers a highly rigid structure and excellent vibration damping demonstrating Peugeot’s coupé cabriolet expertise.

Low interior noise levels
An indispensable ingredient of comfort and convenience inside the car, the low interior noise levels of the 308 CC in its coupé configuration will clearly set the vehicle apart from its competitors.

Space all around
As a coupé cabriolet with four full size seats, the 308 CC benefi ts from wider wheel tracks and a wider body compared to the 307 CC, as well as a front seat structure which offers both generous leg room to the rear occupants and provides a good amount of space to all occupants of the vehicle.

The 308 CC is designed to create a real sensation of tranquillity in the passenger compartment…
The structure is robust and designed to withstand and dissipate front and side impact energy. It is also supplemented by innovative and intelligent means of restraint that the cabriolet body shape dictates. They include a chest/pelvis side airbag built into the front seats and exclusively a side head airbag which is a world fi rst, guaranteeing effective protection of all vital parts of the body regardless of seat position.

Within a few milliseconds of the risk of a rollover being detected (less than the time taken to blink an eye), rear active “pop-up” pyrotechnic roll-over protection bars create a passenger survival cell with the strengthened windscreen pillars designed for this eventuality. Further typical CC features and equipment testifying to the ability of the 308 CC to anticipate its occupants’ needs include…

LED courtesy lighting in the door mirrors.
… and not forgetting a usable boot with dedicated storage spaces (including one under the boot carpet for the optional windstop), laid out to resemble a presentation box. Its capacity (VDA method) is 403 dm3 in the coupé confi guration and 226 dm3 under the windstop in the cabriolet confi guration (or 465 litres and 266 litres respectively in “liquid” equivalent).

Two dynamic and fl exible engines
Two dynamic and fl exible engines power the 308 CC through a six speed manual gearbox… unless an automatic gearbox is preferred… They are a 1.6 litre THP 110 kW (150 bhp) turbocharged direct injection petrol engine with a torque of 240 Nm at 1,400 rpm, and a 2.0 litre HDi FAP Euro 5 103 kW (140 bhp) diesel engine with a torque of 320 Nm at 2,000 rpm, both very economical and environmentally-friendly.

Effi cient road holding
The 308 CC combines motoring enjoyment with effi cient road holding… The wide wheel tracks, the lowered ride height and high-performance suspension specially developed for this body style give the 308 CC excellent potential, together with a real sense of security for the driver. The large 302×26 mm disc brakes are an equal match to the performance of the engines. This is combined with an ESP system that watches over the occupants at all times.

Text and Pictures : Peugeot