PEUGEOT has become the first manufacturer to delete petrol versions of one of its best-selling models.
So many buyers of the company's mainstream 407 saloon and SW models have been switching from petrol to diesel that the petrol versions are to be dropped.
The move is revealed within an announcement of minor modifications to the 407 range. These include cosmetic changes such as different grilles and number plate surrounds.
Until now the Peugeot 407 line-up included three petrol models comprising engines of 1.8-litres, 2.0-litres and 2.2-litres but a Peugeot spokesman said that all of these engines have now been deleted due to a lack of demand.
The company has taken the historic decision to scrap petrol engines for its mainstream family models even though it will now cost buyers £1,300 more to get on to the Peugeot 407 ladder, with the entry-level HDI 110 costing £17,295 in comparison to £15,995 for the now-defunct 1.8i petrol model.
The Peugeot move, in response to soaring running costs, may prompt others such as Ford and Vauxhall to follow.
Peugeot spokesman Kevin Jones said that the controversial decision has been made in response to customer demand and if this changes it is possible that petrol models will reappear in the future.
However, in the meantime the only petrol model will be a 2.0-litre bio-ethanol version that is due to be added to the line-up in November.
It means that the only 407 model to be offered with a conventional petrol engine will be the Coupe that will continue to include a 2.2-litre option because of the sporting nature of low-slung coupes.
Peugeot believes that its diesel engines are so sophisticated that it is not surprising so many buyers are now choosing them in preference to petrol units.
The updated 2.0-litre HDi 140 engine with a six-speed manual gearbox develops 140bhp, which is an increase of four bhp. It averages virtually 50mpg and its CO2 emissions are reduced to 150g/km. Top speed is 130mph and acceleration to 60mph takes just 9.8 seconds.
The new line-up comprises the 407 HDi 110 from £17,295, the 407 HDi 140 from £18,295, the 407 HDi 136 automatic at £21,295, the 407 HDi 170 GT at £23,295 and the 407 HDi V6 GT costing £25,295.
Peugeot 407 SW models cost an average of £1,200 more than their saloon counterparts, model for model.