Peugeot is top UK and European purveyor of low CO2 cars

Peugeot has the highest market share of all brands in Europe and the UK for cars that get CO2 emissions of 120 g/km and 130 g/km or less. Peugeot's emphasis on smaller cars with highly efficient diesel engines has helped it capture 18.6 percent of sales in the sub-120 category in the UK and 15.5 percent of such sales Europe-wide. In the sub 130 category it has 14.3 percent of UK sales and 13.7 percent of European sales.

Toyota only breaks into the top five in the UK sub-120 group thanks to sales in that country of the Prius. In the rest of Europe, Ford, Citroen, Renault and Fiat round out the top five brands. The top selling single model in the class in the UK is the Peugeot 107 which had been rated at 111 g/km but was recently upgraded and is now rated 106 g/km.


Peugeot tops European sales of low CO2 vehicles
* In 2008 one in every six vehicles sold in Europe and in the UK, with CO2 emissions below 121g/km, was a Peugeot
* Peugeot range features 36 vehicles with CO2 emissions below 121g/km

Peugeot's long term commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles has paid huge dividends with sales figures in 2008 placing Peugeot at the very top as the leading low CO2 car company, both in the UK and across Europe. Peugeot cars, identified to customers through its Blue Lion standards (which includes all sub 131g/km) is the most popular brand for economical and low CO2 vehicles (of sub 121g/km and 131g/km) in the UK and throughout Europe.

In the UK throughout 2008, the best-selling low CO2 vehicle in the sub 111g/km sector was the Peugeot 107 – recently enhanced with even lower CO2 emissions of 106g/km – with 16,701 sold (15,333 in 2007). Impressively, sales of sub 121g/km vehicles also saw the107 joined by the 207 and 308, placed fifth and ninth – three cars in the top ten of all cars - placing Peugeot firmly at the top of this combined category with 38,458 (18.6% of all <121g/km) cars sold. Even in the larger category of sub 131g/km vehicles, Peugeot also leads that category too.

2008 UK SALES OF CARS WITH CO2 <121g/km AND WITH CO2 <131g/km
1 PEUGEOT 38,458 (18.6) 1 PEUGEOT 47,515 (14.3)
2 TOYOTA 30,471 (14.7) 2 FORD 40,909 (12.3)
3 FORD 26,321 (12.7) 3 VAUXHALL 33,266 (10.0)
4 CITROËN 22,178 (10.7) 4 TOYOTA 31,125 (9.4)
5 FIAT 15,974 (7.7) 5 CITROËN 23,591 (7.1)

Across Europe, a similar and equally positive story shows Peugeot comprehensively leading the sectors for sub 121g/km and 131g/km vehicles, where sales of some 315,805 (15.5%) and 441,385 (13.7%) cars were sold – more than any other marque in the lowest CO2 categories. The Peugeot 107 was the best-selling, low CO2 car in the sub 111g/km category, while the Peugeot 207 was the best-selling, low CO2 car in both the sub 121g/km and 131g/km sectors.

1 PEUGEOT 318,805 (15.5) 1 PEUGEOT 441,385 (13.7)
2 RENAULT 275,921 (13.5) 2 FIAT 395,059 (12.2)
3 FIAT 274,068 (13.4) 3 RENAULT 386,210 (11.9)
4 CITROEN 233,579 (11.4) 4 CITROËN 303,536 (9.4)
5 FORD 187,078 (9.2) 5 FIAT 275,797 (8.5)

Due to an extensive range of low CO2 vehicles, Peugeot offers drivers a wide choice when looking to make an environmentally conscious decision. The benefits of choosing a low CO2 car mean that it is correspondingly economical too, be it the 107 city car with emissions of just 106g/km or the five-door 308 family hatchback, which in 1.6-litre HDi 90 guise has CO2 emissions of just 120g/km. Peugeot has some 36 vehicles across its 107, 207 and 308 ranges with CO2 emissions less than 121g/km, and 48 (within its Blue Lion standards) with CO2 emissions less than 131g/km.

Christian Stein, Marketing Director at Peugeot in the UK, said; "Peugeot has long held a commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles and these sales statistics for 2008 show us to be at the very top as the leading low CO2 car company, both in the UK and across Europe. Peugeot cars, identified to customers through its Blue Lion standards is clearly the most popular brand for economical and low CO2 vehicles throughout Europe. We are delighted to be comprehensively leading the 'green race' with the benefit of lower running costs for our customers."

A steep $9,875 price increase compared to the 2008 model

BMW has announced their newly redesigned 2009 Z4 roadster will start at $46,575 for the entry-level sDrive30i and $52,475 for the high-performance sDrive35i.

Both versions receive a new folding-metal retractable roof and noticeable gains in performance but these enhancements come at steep price as the 2009 Z4 sDrive30i boasts a massive $9,875 price increase compared to the 2008 Z4 3.0i while the 2009 sDrive35i features a $8,400 increase compared to the 2008 Z4 3.0si. While the new pricing strategy might turn off some buyers, it creates room for the 1-series convertible as well as brings the new Z4 in line with rivals such as the $46,825 Mercedes SLK300 and the $46,600 Porsche Boxster.

As with all BMWs a long list of options is available, the $1,000 cold weather package features a heated steering wheel and heated seats while the premium package boasts auto-dimming mirrors, power seats, ambient lighting, and BMW assist. For $2,300 potential owners can equip their new Z4 with a sports package that comes with 18" light alloy wheels, an adaptive M sports suspension, sports seats, and a higher top speed. Another notable option is the $1,525 seven-speed double clutch transmission which is only available on the Z4 sDrive35i.

Power for the sDrive30i comes from a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine which produces 255 hp and 200 lb-ft of torque while the sDrive35i uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter engine that cranks out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque.

Opel Insignia OPC in Blue

more spy pics of the Opel Insignia OPC. The car has been spotted, mostly uncovered, on several other occasions. However, instead of being captured in black or white, the vehicle was captured in blue.

The Opel Performace Centre (OPC) vehicle will have some unique badging to identify the sporting heritage. Black tape is conveniently used to cover up the identifying characteristics in these pics. The last performance car from the outfit was the 2.8-liter V6 turbo Opel Vectra with 255 hp. Rumor has it the OPC could get power in the low 300 horsepower range.

Opel is alleged to be including Brembo brakes so the driver can handle all the additional muscle. The supposedly four-wheel drive car has circled the Nürburgring in just over eight minutes.

We're hopeful for an unveiling of the new Opel Insignia OPC in the near future.

BYD will show off electric or plug-in car at Buffet's meeting

In September 2008, Warren Buffett's holding company bought a ten percent stake in Chinese automaker BYD. BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, has been moving forward with electric drive vehicle and lithium ion battery development, beating American and Japanese rivals to market with a plug-in hybrid. It's these eco-technologies that attracted Buffett's company in the first place. Now, BYD said it will show off its cars in the U.S. in May at Buffett's general shareholder meeting in Omaha. BYD will display either the F3DM (a plug-in hybrid, seen in the gallery below) or the E6 (an elecric vehicle with a 250-mile range, above) at the event. The F3DM has been on sale in China since December. BYD also displayed its cars at the Detroit Auto Show this past January.