Historically, hybrid vehicles have been a strictly petrol/electric affair -- until today. Peugeot's just unveiled the 3008 Hybrid4 -- apparently the world's first full hybrid vehicle to burn diesel.
Under the bonnet of this compact 4x4, dubbed a crossover due to its combination of car and SUV characteristics, is a 2-litre 164bhp HDi diesel engine mated to a 37bhp electric motor. Together, they make the sort of lovin' that produces combined fuel consumption of 74.4mpg and emissions of just 99g/km.
Those numbers aren't too shabby for what is essentially a compact 4x4. To achieve economy on this scale, drivers usually have to look to petrol hybrids like the Toyota Prius, which gets 72.4mpg and 88g/km, or smaller diesels such as the Volkswagen Polo Bluemotion, which achieves 70mpg and 102g/km.
The 3008 Hybrid4's CO2 emissions are an interesting talking point. Peugeot claims it spits just 99g/km of the stuff -- just 10g/km more than the Prius. But it's worth remembering diesel engines emit other particulates such as soot, aerosols, sulfates and silicates, all of which are pretty bad for the environment and your health.
On the flipside, diesel engines are renowned for delivering more torque -- the force that helps a car pull away without stalling at low speeds -- and the 3008 Hybrid4 has that in spades. Its diesel engine generates 300Nm of torque to the front wheels while its electric motor generates a further 200Nm (peak) at the rear, totalling a whopping 500Nm. That, friends is a mere 70Nm fewer than an Aston Martin DBS, so we expect the 3008 Hybrid4 to be pretty darned eager -- if not necessarily fast -- when you mash the go pedal.
Peugeot says the 3008 Hybrid will have several driving modes. In "Auto", it offers a good compromise between fuel economy and performance, with a start-stop system switching the engine off when you get to traffic lights.
In "ZEV" (zero emissions vehicle) mode, the 3008 Hybrid will cruise near silently using its electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack. A "four-wheel drive" mode offers so-called all-terrain capabilities, while the car's "sport" mode offers quicker gear changes and higher engine revs when you fancy getting your Jenson Button on.
Peugeot doesn't appear to have turned a blind eye to cabin tech. The 3008 Hybrid comes with a head-up display that extends the instrument panel onto the windscreen to keep crucial data in your line of sight.
The car also packs a sat-nav with 3D buildings on its maps, a hard drive-based juke box auto system with USB connectivity, distance alert that warns you if you're too close to the vehicle in front, and Parallel Park Assist, which assesses the size of a space during parking manoeuvres and determines whether you'll fit inside it.
We'll endeavour to some hands-on loving with the 3008 in the coming months with a view to bringing you a full Car Tech review. In the meantime, feel free to vent your diesel-loving, or diesel-hating spleens in the comments below.