Gilles Vidal on the new Peugeot 208


Gilles Vidal discusses using creative intelligence to design the new Peugeot 208, launched at the Geneva show 2019

The 208 is a beneficiary of the ideas explored in Peugeot’s recent concept car programmes, according to design director Gilles Vidal. “We wanted a good stance, good proportions, and the Fractal helped us define the visual tricks to achieve that,” he says.

“There is a bit of Fractal in the way the rear is sculpted; the way the bumper comes right down, and the super-diagonal rear window, and how from the rear view, you have a line that drops. There’s a lot of tricks like this that we experimented on first with the concept cars.”

However, the 208 also – like the gorgeous e-Legend concept – brings some strong historical resonances. In this case, the references are to the groundbreaking and much-loved 205:

“You’ve got the shape of the rear pillar, the side window, and its angle: the shape of that whole area is like that of the car of the past,” says Vidal, who warns nonetheless: “There’s a mix of things in your mind, but in the end, it has to be obvious and harmonious to the client. When you try to be neo-retro, you activate the shapes and form language, but the definition and the execution – of the graphics, the details, whatever – mustn’t be retro in any way, so you understand the inspiration but the overall impression will be futuristic.”

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