Peugeot has released details of the forthcoming 1007, due to go on sale next year.

The 1007, according to Peugeot, will “change the way small cars are perceived and experienced.”

The single most noticeable feature is the fitment of a single electric sliding door on each side of the vehicle, which allows access to the interior even when parked in confined spaces. Clearance required to operate the doors is said to be no larger than that required by the door mirrors, and the doors can be activated by a button on the key fob.

It’s a full four-seater inside, with two independent rear seats that can be configured to provide maximum boot space, people space, or for carrying long loads.

Twelve kits to customise the interior will be available, and each can be fitted without tools. The kits consist of replacement trim parts for the seats, doors, rear side panels, air vents and the fascia and come in various striking patterns and vivid colours.

The 1007 should be safe, too, with up to seven airbags, and Isofix child-seat fittings.

Physically, the 1007 is 3.73 m long and 1.61 m high, and with the reverse-angled C-pillar looks not unlike a Mercedes A-Class in profile.

Three engines will be available – 1.4 litre 75 bhp and 1.6 litre 110 bhp petrol engines, and a 1.4 litre 70 bhp HDi diesel engine. The petrol versions will also be offered with a new “2-Tronic” computer-controlled manual gearbox, that provides fully automatic and sequential gear-changing modes.

The Peugeot 1007 will be launched in the UK in May 2005.