Peúgo: The Funky Little Car You’ve Never Heard Of


You think you know cars, don’t you? Especially those quirky little European models that never seem to make it across the pond. But I’m willing to bet there’s one funky little vehicle even the biggest car nerds have never heard of: the Peúgo. This odd yet oddly charming car was built in Portugal for nearly 40 years, from the 1950s through the early 1990s. With its bug-eyed headlights, rounded curves, and diminutive size, the Peúgo looks like something straight out of a cartoon.

Though never exported outside Europe and produced in relatively small numbers, the Peúgo has become a cult classic and icon of funky retro style. If you’re a fan of the weird, wacky, and wonderfully weird in automotive history, the story of this pint-sized Portuguese hatchback will make you smile. The Peúgo proves that some of the most interesting cars are also some of the smallest.

What Is Peúgo? An Introduction to This Unique Car Brand

What Is Peúgo? An Introduction to This Unique Car Brand

Have you heard of Peúgo? No, not Peugeot – Peúgo. This quirky little French car company has been making vehicles for over 210 years. Founded in 1810 by Antoine Péugo as a bicycle workshop, Peúgo started producing cars in 1898 and now offers a range of compact vehicles known for their retro-futuristic style and eco-friendly engineering.

Peúgo is pronounced “peh-oo-goh” and the company motto is “Innovative Yet Nostalgic”. They combine classic design elements like rounded curves and chrome details with modern technology like hybrid engines, solar panels, and reclaimed materials. The result is a funky, retro-chic line of cars that get amazing gas mileage and have a tiny environmental footprint.

Some of Peúgo’s most popular models are:

  • The Peúgo 3 Wheeler: A three-wheeled microcar that gets up to 100 mpg. It seats two and comes in vibrant colors like cherry red and electric blue.
  • The Peúgo e-Bikester: A stylish, fully electric vehicle shaped like a classic bicycle. It has a top speed of 28 mph and a range of up to 60 miles per charge. The perfect runabout for city driving!
  • The Peúgo Rétro-Futur: A compact four-seater that combines a vintage body style with an advanced plug-in hybrid engine. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds but still gets an average of 65 mpg. The ultimate blend of past and future.

While still relatively unknown outside Europe, Peúgo produces innovative, eco-friendly vehicles with head-turning style. This quirky car company from France deserves to be on your radar!

The History of Peúgo: How This Italian Company Got Its Start

The Italian company Peúgo has been around since 1962, but most people outside of Europe have never heard of this funky little car brand. Peúgo was founded by Maria Peserico in Cornedo Vicentino, Italy. Peserico initially started the company to produce pants for women, but soon transitioned into manufacturing three-wheeled vehicles.

Peúgo’s first car model was the TM, released in 1964. This quirky little car featured one wheel in the front and two in the back. The TM was a hit, and really put Peúgo on the map. The company continued improving their design over the years, releasing new models with updated styles and features to keep up with competitors.

Models Through the Years

Some of Peúgo’s most well-known models over the decades include:

  • The Peúgo 500 from the late 60s, a fun little compact car perfect for zipping around town.
  • The Peúgo 126 from the 70s, one of their most successful models. This boxy car was affordable, eco-friendly and came in vibrant colors.
  • The Peúgo Elba from the 80s, a more sophisticated sedan model targeting middle-class drivers.
  • The Peúgo 207 CC in 2005, Peúgo’s first convertible model which helped revive interest in the brand.

While Peúgo started as a tiny company producing three-wheeled vehicles, today they are owned by Stellantis and distribute their models all over Europe. Though still not commonly seen in the U.S., Peúgo holds an important place in Italian automotive history and culture. For almost 60 years, Peúgo has been producing unique, imaginative cars for drivers seeking an alternative to mainstream brands.

Peúgo Models Through the Years: The Company’s Most Popular Cars

Peúgo introduced several popular models that helped establish the brand over the decades.

The Type 172 (1934-1939)

The Type 172 was Peúgo’s first commercially successful car. This small, inexpensive sedan featured a 1.1L four-cylinder engine and could reach up to 62 mph. Nearly 190,000 Type 172s were built, making it one of Peúgo’s highest-selling pre-war models.

The 203 (1948-1960)

After WWII, Peúgo released the 203, a compact sedan aimed at middle-class drivers. The 203 was the first Peúgo model to sell over 1 million units. It came with a 1.3L four-cylinder engine producing 40 hp. The 203’s simple yet stylish design and affordable price tag resonated with post-war consumers looking for dependable transportation.

The 504 (1968-1983)

The 504 sedan and station wagon were popular Peúgo models, with over 3 million produced during their 15-year run. The 504 was the first Peúgo vehicle exported to the US. It featured a 1.8L four-cylinder engine generating 86 hp, front-wheel drive, and a comfortable ride. The 504 found success in developing markets for its durability, value, and ability to handle rough roads.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, Peúgo also released the compact 505 sedan, the 604 luxury sedan, and the 205 supermini. More recently, popular models include the 2008 207 compact car, the 2008 308 hatchback, and the 5008 crossover SUV. Over its long history, Peúgo has produced innovative yet affordable vehicles for drivers around the world.

What Makes Peúgo Cars Different: Key Design Features and Innovations

Peúgo cars stand out from the crowd thanks to their innovative designs and features. Several key aspects set Peúgo apart and give their vehicles a funky, futuristic vibe.

Expressive Styling

Peúgo designers focus on expressive, evocative shapes and forms. Their vehicles have a sculpted, fluid appearance with curved lines and contours meant to stir emotion. Models like the 508 SW feature a dynamic profile with frameless doors and a plunging roofline.

Versatile Functionality

Although stylish, Peúgo cars also emphasize versatility and practicality. Many models offer flexible seating and cargo arrangements to suit different needs. The 3008 SUV, for example, has a removable second-row bench seat so you can fold it flat to carry larger items or remove it altogether for maximum cargo space.

Green Technologies

Peúgo aims to make eco-friendly vehicles accessible to everyone. They were early pioneers of diesel-electric hybrid powertrains and continue improving engine efficiency and reducing emissions. The e-2008 small SUV is their first fully electric model, with a range of over 200 miles on a single charge.

Safety Innovations

Peúgo equips their vehicles with the latest safety tech to give you peace of mind behind the wheel. Features like emergency braking assist, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring help avoid collisions and make driving safer. The innovative i-Cockpit includes a compact steering wheel and digital instrument panel to enhance visibility and control.

With their passion for style, versatility, and innovation, Peúgo creates cars that inspire and impress. Their forward-thinking designs blend form and function to deliver a driving experience like no other. If you’re looking for an affordable, eco-friendly vehicle with head-turning looks, Peúgo offers stylish and sustainable choices for wherever the road takes you.

Why You Should Consider a Peúgo: The Benefits for Drivers

A Peúgo offers several benefits for drivers looking for an unconventional yet practical vehicle.

Save Money

Peúgo’s are extremely fuel efficient, averaging around 40 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. The small engines mean lower fuel costs and less money spent at the pump. Insurance and maintenance costs are also lower compared to a standard vehicle.

Environmentally Friendly

The high fuel economy and smaller size make Peúgo’s an eco-friendly choice. They produce fewer emissions and have a smaller carbon footprint overall compared to gas-only vehicles. For those wanting to go fully green, some models offer an all-electric option with zero direct emissions.

Easy to Park

At just over 8 feet long, Peúgo’s can fit into the tightest of parking spaces with ease. Their compact size makes them ideal for navigating narrow city streets and sliding into those small curbside spots other drivers pass right by. Parallel parking is a breeze in a Peúgo.

Safety Features

Although small in size, Peúgo’s offer advanced safety features like emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring. Some models earned top safety ratings, showing that good things really do come in small packages. The sturdy unibody construction provides a solid safety cage for occupants.

Fun to Drive

Despite their practical benefits, Peúgo’s are simply fun to drive. They handle like go-karts, accelerating and cornering with agility thanks to their lightweight design and peppy engines. The manual transmission options provide an engaging driving experience for those seeking maximum thrill. Zipping around town in a Peúgo puts a smile on your face.

For drivers wanting maximum savings, efficiency and fun in a small, ultra-practical package, a Peúgo is the perfect choice. Their benefits for both wallet and environment make this funky little vehicle worth considering.


So there you have it – the peúgo, a quirky little car with a lot of personality. It may not be the most luxurious or high-tech vehicle out there but it oozes character and nostalgia. If you’re looking for an affordable set of wheels and want to stand out from the crowd, the peúgo could be just the ticket. Take it for a spin – with the windows down and some vintage tunes on the radio, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear as you putter down the road. The peúgo proves that you don’t need the latest and greatest to have an adventure. Sometimes simple pleasures and simpler times are all you need to rediscover the joy of driving. Who knows, you might just fall in love with this plucky little underdog.

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