With hood latches, increased ground clearance, plastic cladding on the wheel arches, and dual exhaust tips positioned not where you’d expect them to be, this is far from being an ordinary 208. Peugeot was seen recently testing this Frankenstein of a supermini, which is either an early look at the next generation or potentially a 1008 pint-sized crossover.

Regardless of its exact identity, the future model in question will ride on the EMP1 platform developed by the PSA Group in collaboration with Dongfeng Motor from China where the architecture is known as CMP. There is an off chance the test mule depicted in the adjacent images is a sign of a new entry-level crossover slotting below the 2008 considering Peugeot did toy around with that idea some years ago.

Gallery: 2010 Peugeot HR1 concept

Pictured above, the HR1 concept from 2010 explored the possibility of a city-oriented petite crossover with only two doors. There were some rumors in recent years about going down that road, but those never materialized. Peugeot might have had a change of heart and something along the lines of a model called "1008" is en route to capitalize on the never-ending crossover boom.

If not, we’re looking at the next-generation 208 set to lose some weight as a result of the new underpinnings. Those plastic bits slapped onto the wheel arches indicate the B-segment model would receive extended tracks, meaning a bump in size that would consequently increase space inside the cabin.

The French group’s man in charge of R&D, Gilles Le Borgne, told Automotive News back in 2015 the new EMP1 hardware will enable a weight loss of approximately 100 kilograms (220 pounds) by shaving off 50 kg (110 lbs) from the platform itself and another 50 kg from the rest of the body and trim.

PSA and its Chinese partner have already announced EMP1 will effectively debut in 2018, so expect to see the new car next year. It’s being developed to underpin as many as 20 models of different body styles - including crossovers and sedans – as a result of a €200-million investment split 60:40 between PSA and Dongfeng.

Photos: CarPix

Gallery: Possible Peugeot 1008 spy photos

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