Peugeot has decided the niche between its 207 and Partner vans is a gap in the range that needs filling.

Stepping into the hole will be the Bipper, arriving in the UK in May as part of the joint development alongside the Fiat Fiorino and Citroen Nemo.

The Bipper is effectively doing a job in the absence of a 307 van rather than creating a new van sector. With a maximum load volume of 2.8cu/m, it offers 2.5 times the carrying capacity of the 207 van, yet retains other small car characteristics.

Although it’s unlikely the Bipper will have as much of a car-like driving style as its smaller 207 sibling, CO2 emissions of 119g/km and a claimed 62.7mpg from the 1.4HDi engine imply low running costs.

Peugeot has also revealed a second facelift for the Partner. Launched in 1996 and facelifted in 2002, the Partner is based on the same platform as the Citroen Berlingo.

Both the Partner van and the Tepee – its mini-MPV variant – get a new external look with angular headlights and sharper lines. More kit is now included, with ABS, electric windows and a CD player all coming as standard. Electric folding mirrors plus automatic headlights and wipers are also available as options.

For the owner not so bothered about bells and whistles, the previous generation Partner will continue to be available – badged as Partner Origin.

Prices are not yet available, but more details will be released before the launch of both vehicles in May.