Discovered at the Genève auto show 1998, under the shape of a concept called "20Coeur" (pronounce "Vainqueur" - it's means winner in french), people is immediately seducted. That is why Peugeot decided to produce the convertible version of his city car, with the OEM Heuliez that supplies the retractable roof.
At the comercial launching, in December 2000, the 206 CC known a lightning success and it will wait until 6 months to have one! It quickly become a best-seller across the world, becoming even the model of car brand Peugeot the best selling in Australia, and the convertible the best selling in Europe. About 500 000 copies have been sold in over the world.
His success lies in a original shape that not leave indifferent, especially when the retractable roof is moving, and also in the innovative concept CC (Coupé + Convertible), by making it approachable for all. Even if Mercedes-Benz, in 1995, with his SLK roadster has streamlined the CC concept, it's Georges Paulin (Peugeot's designer) who is the inventor with the convertible Peugeot 401 Eclipse in ... 1935 !
Since 1992, Heuliez worked on the retractable hard-top project, tested by Peugeot on this 106 Spider:
We can see that this prototype is not really a convertible but rather a targa version. Thanks to this Heuliez's prototype could develop the mechanisms of retractable roof of 206 CC. It was not until 8 years, that this ingenious system is put into production and marketed.
With the release of the 206 sedan in 1998, Peugeot designers have studied the convertible version would follow in order to diversify the range. As the following pictures show, the will of a convertible with a retractable roof has become obvious.
The 206 CC is heavily reinforced, indeed it receives 50 Kgs of reinforcement! Also Peugeot said at the time 206 CC was 1/3 more rigid than the 306 convertible.
The windscreen is enhanced by two large tubes that go to the floor and are connected by a reinforcement bar located under the dashboard.
On the back of rear seats, 2 tie solidify the back of the chassis. The chassis receives four reinforcement bars (2 front and 2 rear), placed diagonally between the frame so the bottom of boxes (also reinforced) with front and rear axles.
And to top it off, it is equipped with gas shocks on the front to make it more rigid and responsive, while the rear shock absorbers receives oil calibration strengthened to better collect the extra weight.
Despite these reinforcements, it is recommended to put a strut bar to further improve chassis rigidity, because the framework of the windshield may start to vibrate and emit unpleasant noise when switching on a donkey or paved roads.
The security aspect has obviously not been forgotten, the 206 CC is adorned with 4 airbags (2 front + 2 sides) as standard. Supplemented by safety belts with pyrotechnic pretensioners 3-points.
Unfortunately, the rear roll bars are fictitious, they are plastic and they do not deploy if the vehicle overturns.
The roof is in two parts and operation of retoitage / détoitage takes about 20 seconds, all provided by a hydraulic pump that powers two cylinders.
For the car top down, you must:
1. Pull the net in the trunk that divides the trunk in 2 parts (one part for luggage and the other for the roof.
2. Unlock the two safeties to the right and left on the amounts inside the windshield.
3. And finally activate the button between the two front seats to transform your coupé in convertible.
The entire roof + complete mechanism weighs 70 kgs (approximately 154 lbs), bringing the total overweight of 206 CC, compared to the 206 sedan, to 120 kgs (approximately 154 lbs)(+ all reinforcements complete mechanism of the retractable roof). Which is largely acceptable.
It took less than two years, the presentation of the concept car to market in series.
An real exploit when you consider he had kept the body of the city 206, and a high production rate.
Heuliez, which owns the patent convertible, participated in the design and developement of the 206 CC, as well as that produced in its manufacture, assembled and painted in its factory in Cerizay (district of Deux-Sèvres): the roof, trunk, coaching windshield, and under specific sets of chassis and body (the whole is called "cassette").
Then Heuliez delivered it to the Peugeot factory in Mulhouse, which have been produced all 206 CC.
The platform of the 206 is temporarily removed from the assembly line, where it then appears as a bare chassis, without a body, to receive, on a line parallel to the body parts specific to the 206 CC.
Once these have been mounted, the hull returns to the assembly line to receive its mechanics, its running gear and interior trim at the rate of production of the 206 sedan, which is important to reduce production costs.
Ultimately, the 206 CC was produced 8 years and 369 600 copies came off the assembly lines.