New Peugeot Speedfight 3
Peugeot has chosen the Cologne show as the site for unveiling Speedfight 3, the new flagship of its 50cc range.
Peugeot / Pics by Scooter Infos
It’s only natural that this honour should go to the German market, where Speedfight has been the reference sport scooter for nearly 10 years, capturing a full 25% of the market.
Peugeot’s excellent performance in Germany over the years is largely owing to Speedfight. In a market that has traditionally favoured sport models, Peugeot became the country’s top choice for 50cc vehicles in 2007, with a 23.4% share of the market.
With sales of its two sport models, Speedfight and Jet C-Tech, surpassing 11,000 units, the brand acquired 45.6% of the market for 50cc sport scooters. That impressive market dominance can be credited to a highly complementary product offering with an immediate impact across Europe, since Peugeot now ranks second among 50cc manufacturers.
The king is dead, long live the king!
The year 2009 will mark a turning point: 12 years after the launch of Speedfight and eight years after its redesign (Speedfight 2), Peugeot is replacing its star product with Speedfight 3. It’s something of a revolution in the world of two-wheelers, as the sun sets on a legend that managed the historic feat of selling 500,000 units!
That success was due to its inimitable look and the multiplying array of special series inspired by the racing world. In all, no fewer than 15 different models made their appearance, from the first, sporting the colours of the Prost Grand Prix stable, to the incomparable 206 WRC whose design, a replica of the Peugeot car by that name, will remain the top-selling two-wheeler of the 2000s.
So, with a market launch scheduled for the spring of 2009, Peugeot harbours some major ambitions for Speedfight 3. It’s an entirely new product from its cycle machinery to its accessories, not to mention styling that’s nonetheless still clearly inspired by its predecessor. Boasting a more refined design, enhanced ergonomics and a more comprehensive range of accessories, Speedfight 3 is making its mark as the embodiment of change in continuity.
A matter of style
If we had to choose one word to associate with Speedfight, “look” would certainly be the most appropriate. The vehicle’s captivating headlights and feline look were the source of the Speedfight magic at work during its entire market run.
With that in mind, the brand’s marketing experts encouraged the designers to let the Speedfight style and personality show through on Speedfight 3. There’s no radical change in the overall silhouette, just a gradual evolution that suggests a transition to a new generation of scooters. The designers have reinterpreted a familiar formula by adding a touch of modernity inspired by the motorbikes of today.
Guided by an aesthetic approach that betrays an obvious link, the tauter lines of Speedfight 3 add an extra bit of energy and excitement. The look up front has been
refined with more prominent headlights and added air intakes to bring out an attitude that’s unmistakably more sport-minded. With a less dominant chassis, the
back end has sleeker lines to enhance the focus on the hungry air vents.
Micro-bulb blinkers in the rear give the Speedfight 3 a more engineered look, while the new, streamlined dual-arm racing mirrors accentuate its sporty appeal. For the handlebar, stainless steel has replaced aluminium on the endpieces, and there’s now an aviation fuel cap on the fuel tank.
Thanks to a wealth of technical and aesthetic details, Speedfight 3 now has a look that’s significantly more modern, with a more aggressive stance than its predecessor.
A change in engineering strategy
From a technical standpoint, Speedfight 3 does nothing halfway. The engineers threw out the old formulas that were developed in response to market demands and a clientele that was growing older and larger in size.
The cycle parts have been completely redesigned with a focus on ergonomics, including a totally new chassis. The vehicle has gained an additional 12 cm in overall length, with 3 cm added to the wheelbase, for markedly improved capacity. By contrast, the seat height is unchanged at an ideal 800 mm. At the same time, the seat has been streamlined at thigh level to make it easier for smaller drivers to reach the ground, and widened for greater comfort.
In the biggest change from Speedfight 2, Speedfight 3 replaces the single arm fork with an impressive Ø 32 mm hydraulic fork that more closely reflects the driving philosophy behind this new engine. Road handling is enhanced with new 13” wheels (1” larger) and the presence of a push shock on the water-cooled engine. The especially compact fuel tank has been relocated to the centre of the vehicle under the floor pan, ensuring a lower centre of gravity that provides a significant boost to road handling.
Customer safety is an absolute priority for Peugeot, and Speedfight 3 boasts impressive safety features like an oversized 215-mm Shuricane front disc brake— 20% larger than on the previous version! Coupled with a dual-piston radial caliper, this technology—inspired by that of the biggest sport motorbikes available—vaults
Speedfight 3 once and for all into the category of exceptional 50cc vehicles.
The faultless engineering on Speedfight 3 hasn’t led Peugeot to overlook the accessories. In fact they’re even better than before, thanks to constant innovation. For the driver, the analogue speedometer has given way to a superb, semi-digital instrument panel that’s both modern and comprehensive. It combines striking red backlighting around the tachometer with ice blue backlighting for the digital components.
These two colours, red and blue, convey power and technology, a combination of passion and cool mastery, the interplay between hot and cold. The full-featured digital instrumentation includes a speedometer, clock, two kilometre odometers and a radial coolant temperature gauge (on the liquid-cooled version). The analogue needle on the tachometer spins against a white background that displays the sharp new Speedfight 3 logo.
The resolutely modern Speedfight 3 has entered the entertainment age with a 12V socket that can be used to plug in a stereo system with woofer, amplifier, two speakers and handlebar controls, so you can listen to your favourite music on an iPod or MP3 player connected via a simple USB port. A dual-function 12V socket also lets you recharge your cell phone while you drive. Simple, technologically advanced, efficient, easy to use and stylish: features that sum up the Speedfight 3
When it comes to storage, Peugeot hasn’t forgotten that any sport driver worthy of the name takes a full-face helmet along—one that can now be stored effortlessly under the seat, secured by an antitheft system. This storage space can now be accessed from the ignition switch for greater convenience. 1 driver, 3 engines
Though less extreme than its big brother, Jet C-Tech, which comes in just one engine model (liquid-cooled only), Speedfight 3 aims to capture the middle ground.
The initial offering will include a choice of two different two-stroke carburetor-fed engines: a more economical air-cooled version, and a higher-performance watercooled version.
This gives customers a wide array of options: they can choose between a great-looking scooter at an attractive price or the uncompromising
pleasure of total sport driving.
In a first for a sport scooter at Peugeot, the range of engine models will be expanded next fall to include an air-cooled, 4-stroke 50cc version that consumes less fuel, in preparation for the likely transition from the EURO 2 to the EURO 3 standard aimed at protecting the environment.