CC? Oui, oui

Nimble, pretty and very French, the Peugeot 308 CC is a testament to the joie de vivre many of us seek in a car

By David Light

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Published: Sat 23 Oct 2010, 8:38 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:13 PM

It’s got four seats, two doors and a non-threatening look about it – could the 308 CC be any more French? Forgive me if that sounds as if I think that’s a bad thing, I really don’t, but if a car could capture the essence of a nation this is it. Watch it motor along and you can almost hear the accordion music strike up, see the lights of Paris in the distance and have the urge to go on strike, such is the affinity this Peugeot has for its homeland.

This, of course, sets it apart from other cars in the same category. Rather unique for the region, the 308 CC does stand out on the roads in Dubai. Any German or Japanese equivalent is, let’s face it, commonplace these days with downsizing still a necessity for some. Whereas you don’t see as many Peugeots around, which is something this car is trying to change.

First off the 308 CC is a quaint, yet well-stocked car. It may have the smooth lines that the fairer species may be more suited to, but inside are enough bits and pieces to keep everyone happy. The well thought-out, well made and simple interior doesn’t have the clutter one might expect when first approaching the vehicle and feels solid to the touch. Sit behind the wheel and you will garner the same feeling you would in a far more opulent car. Another surprise was that the rear seats are big enough to fit two actual humans, which in a two-door cabriolet is a unique feature in itself. The entertainment equipment may seem a bit basic before the off, but everything works well, is easy to manage and if you’re looking at taking home this kind of motor you’re not going to be demanding DVD players or in-car aquariums.

Set off and the 308 CC even drives French. It is a smooth launch that gradually picks up pace with minimum effort. If it were a human it wouldn’t sweat to get off the line for fear of looking undignified. I had an inkling the 1.6-litre engine would not be enough to enjoy the ride, but pleasantly this was short-sighted of me. The engine coped well with the rigours of everyday driving and didn’t appear overwhelmed at any point. It will get up to the legal speed limit with no problem at all and without to much encouragement from the driver may even wish to venture a couple of km/h over it. Just don’t expect to be setting any records around the Autodrome.

Overall this is a lovely not-so-little car. It’s fun, spacious and possesses a sprinkle of magic that too many cars these days are lacking.

AUTO STAR

She’s the former Miss India who went to Miss Universe and ended up in the Bollywood filmmaking machine.

But who said good looks equals a vacuous personality? Far from being one to jump on the Bentley, Beamer and Rolls Royce bandwagon, the stunning Gul Panag prefers to keep her feet on the ground, admitting her favourite car is the Skoda Yeti.

The Manorama Six Feet Under star was spotted recently at the Indian Auto Expo and was delighted at the news that the compact SUV will be arriving in the market soon.

CLASSIC CUT

Before the Bugatti Veyron, the SSC Ultimate Aero TT and Koenigsegg CCR, there was only one make at the tip of your tongue when you had to name the fastest production car in the world.

In the playground it would be the first dream motor that sprang to mind when listing your top ten. But, in the pre-internet-dominated age, when any motoring show was well past our bedtimes, nobody quite knew what it looked like or what else it did apart from being fast. The car’s credentials existed in an elaborate game of Chinese whispers, each one more extravagant than the last. It is only now, looking over the McLaren F1’s factsheet, that those stories appear to be well founded.

The F1 was laun-ched in 1992 but it was in 1998 that it set the record for the fastest production car at 240 mph. It drew this power from a custom-built 6-Litre V12 engine that delivered 627 hp.

david@khaleejtimes.com



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