New Peugeot SUVs jump to modular platform, increase composites use

  • 06-Oct-2016 08:05 EDT

Voila—le nouveaux SUV! The new Peugeot 5008's 7-seat, 3-row passenger accommodation precludes a hybrid version while its shorter 3008 cousin will get the HEV option. 

PSA Peugeot Citroën used the 2016 Paris Motor Show for the public launch of the Peugeot 3008 and 5008 models, now re-defined as SUVs. The 3008 accommodates five passengers while the larger 5008 offers seven seats in three rows. Both models use the PSA Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2), already employed on a number of the automaker's models including the recently revised Citroën C4 Picasso and C4 Grand Picasso, the Peugeot 308 C-segment model and the recently launched Peugeot Expert and Citroën Jumpy cargo vans.

The flexible EMP2 can be extended by adding 55-mm (2.1-in) extensions to the rear section of the platform. Bertrand Clergeot, 5008 SUV Project Director, explained: "From a structural point of view we have the front part and what we call the rear synthesis. The rear synthesis is the part that can accept extensions, so enables the wheelbase to be adjustable."

Clergeot noted that the front section is common with the 308, 3008, 5008, 308 SW and Citroën C4 Picasso. The rear section is modular. The construction enabled the 5008 to have nearly the same wheelbase as the C4 Picasso.

The idea behind the 55-mm extensions is that they give the engineering and design teams flexibility to match the wheelbase as closely as possible to their needs while keeping the vehicle's overall length within European C-segment parameters. So the 5008 wheelbase represents three extensions more than the wheelbase of the 3008 and 4008, the latter built specifically for the Chinese market. It has one extension more than the 3008.

PHEV coming in 2019

PSA’s Grip Control driveline provides improved traction on different terrains for front-wheel-drive models and now includes a hill descent control feature. "We’ve left the 4x4 systems because they are heavy and have high fuel consumption. I think that’s not the trend today," Michel asserted.

As on the previous model there will be a hybrid variant that will provide all-wheel-drive through an electrically-driven rear axle. 5008 models will not be offered with a hybrid powertrain, because of the packaging difficulties of accommodating a third row of seats and a hybrid battery pack. PSA engineers are working on a plug-in hybrid version, which will be available in 2019, Michel said.

Weight reduction was one of the key program objectives of the new 3008 SUV according to Project Director Frank Michel. “We worked on new steels and new materials, to save thickness and save weight, including more aluminum and composite materials at the very beginning," he told Automotive Engineering. "This means that when we started to design the parts, we decided how much each part was supposed to weigh.”

As a result, up to 100 kg (220 lb) was saved compared with the previous model. Mass-reduction measures include using aluminum for the hood and front fenders, which meant that the hood stamping tooling needed careful design to ensure the sharp creases in the hood outer were well defined. Peugeot engineers also saved mass using composite parts.

“We optimized the thickness of the floor,” said Michel. Part of the EMP2 platform involves composite material in the floor. He said the car's composite liftgate is the company's “third or fourth experience" with engineering composites in this application, in the ongoing quest to reduce vehicle mass by "100 g here and 100 g there."

Peugeot worked with Michelin on a new low rolling-resistance tire design, which Michel described as "tall and narrow", for the car.

New interior materials were chosen for the 3008, but Michel noted that it is difficult to find companies that can produce materials on the scale needed for car production. “We were involved in very specific activities to produce these new materials on an industrial scale,” he commented.

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