President's Report - June 2011

Greetings All,

Sadly, though the weather gods smiled, the war gods did not - that is, if you were part of the French contingent at the recent Battle of Waterloo in Canberra. For the second year running the evil British force was victorious over a valiant, but depleted French force of cars (and owners) who faced off against each other on the lawns of the National Library on Sunday the 19th of June. Was it that Napoleon was absent? Otherwise engaged on family matters in Sydney, I was unable to bring him to the battle. Would he have made a difference? Who knows? Perhaps we will have to tamper with history and enlist the help of some Prussians next year!

I am very much looking forward to the launch of the 508 at the International Motor Show in Melbourne from 1 to 10 July, not so much because I will be attending (I won't), but because it will go on sale the following week. Overseas reviews have been excellent, and I may just be tempted to buy one to replace my 407 HDi, the lease for which expires at the end of July - see details of my 407 in the For Sale section of the magazine should you be interested in purchasing the presidential limo. Initially the 508 will be on sale with a 2 litre HDi turbo diesel engine with a 6 speed automatic gearbox in both sedan and touring wagon as well as a high performance 2.2 litre HDi turbo diesel "GT" (sedan only).

The GT engine is said to be more powerful than the 407 2.7 litre V6 HDi twin turbo engine it replaces, while being more than 30% more efficient in fuel economy and CO2 emissions. As I understand it, supplies of the 2 litre cars will be limited for a few months because of delays in gearboxes coming from Japan. However, gearboxes for the GT model are sourced from Germany and they will be more freely available.

Indeed, the release of the GT has been brought forward to cover the expected scarcity of the 2 litre model. Later in the year, the range will be extended by a 1.6 litre turbo petrol version and the eagerly awaited 1.6 e-HDi turbo diesel, the first model in the Peugeot range to feature the new STOP/START system mated to the intelligent electronic gearbox control (EGC) semi-auto. This combination delivers combined fuel economy of a miserly 4.4 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of just 115g/ km - making it the most efficient large car in Australia.

The next club meeting will be held on Tuesday 28 June, at 8pm at the Irish Club in Weston Creek. As usual, dinner will be from 7pm. My apologies for my absence in advance - I fly to Indonesia that day, volcano gods and air safety gods willing. However, I will be back in time to celebrate Bastille Day with club members.

To celebrate Bastille Day this year we will be meeting for lunch at Le Tre Bon restaurant in Bungendore on Sunday 10 July at 12 noon. There will be no fixed price and attendees will be able to choose what they like from the menu and pay accordingly. So, regardless of whether you want soup and bread, or a full three course meal and a glass of wine, your needs can be accommodated. Please bring cash so we have no split bill to worry about. Information about the restaurant, including their winter menu and wine list, is available from their website at http://www.letresbon.com.au.

Places are strictly limited and must be booked with me no later than Friday 8 July, but preferably asap - phone bookings only on 6299 9757 please. Chef, Christophe Gregoire, says he will even sing La Marseillaise for us!

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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