Crave loves interesting new propulsion technologies -- gas turbines, electric motors, farts -- but we've still got a soft spot in our gadgety hearts for good old diesel, which is why we went all misty-eyed when we went hands-on with Peugeot's new 3008 HYbrid4.
It's the world's first diesel hybrid car. It uses a 2-litre 163bhp oil-burning engine mated to a 37bhp electric motor, which work together to achieve a Prius-beating 74.4mpg. The only major drawback is the fact the diesel engine spews 99g per kilometer of carbon dioxide -- 10g/km more than its Japanese rival.
Happily for eco nutters, the car is capable of running in a battery-only, zero-emissions mode, albeit only for a mere 4.5km (2.8 miles) and only if the car's onboard nickel-metal hydride battery pack has a sufficient level of charge. It's a fairly gimmicky feature, but it might make parents, for example, feel better about taking the car on very short trips such as dropping the kids off at school or going to their local Green Party meeting.
Peugeot's fitted the 3008 with some interesting cabin tech. The car features a head-up display, which projects the vehicle's speed and direction cues from the sat-nav on to a retractable transparent panel directly in the driver's line of sight. It's not as pretty as the Prius' head-up display, which projects information on to the windscreen, but it's a clever feature nonetheless.
The Peugeot 3008 also features parallel park assist -- a technology that assesses the size of a parking space to determine whether the car will fit. Again, it's not as clever as the Prius' park assist feature, which actually parks the car for you while you sit watching in awe, but at least it's something you can brag about before ultimately using alternative biological technology (the eyes in your head) to judge the size of parking spaces.
Like many modern cars, the 3008 comes with a built-in hard drive that can be used to rip CDs for later playback. It also offers a 7-inch display mounted in the dash, which can play DVD movies or show 3D maps courtesy of Peugeot's fancy Connect 3-D Media Navigation system.
Where the Peugeot 3008 trumps many of its hybrid rivals is with its ludicrous quantities of interior space. The car has a boot space of 420 litres with an additional 66 litres available under the boot floor. Better still, the rear seats fold flat to free up a total of 1,501 litres of space -- 381 litres more than the Prius.
Peugeot hasn't announced a price for the 3008 as yet but, the company tells us the car will launch in spring 2011 and we can't wait to get behind the wheel. Its use of diesel fuel means it isn't the cleanest hybrid on the market, but its stunning fuel economy, fancy cabin technology and ludicrous quantities of interior space mean it's seriously worth considering.