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Future models - Peugeot - 508 - RXH

Frankfurt show: Peugeot takes 508 to new heights

French fancy: The diesel-electric Peugeot 508 RXH crossover will make its public debut at September's Frankfurt motor show.

High-riding Peugeot 508 RXH diesel-hybrid on the agenda for Australia

Peugeot logo12 Jul 2011

By MARTON PETTENDY

PEUGEOT has revealed a jacked-up, diesel-electric crossover version of the all-new 508 wagon that goes on sale later this week.

Confirmed to make its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September before going on sale in Europe next April, the 508 RXH is also under consideration for release in Australia, where it would effectively replace the discontinued 607 as the French brand’s flagship.

“The 508 RXH is definitely of interest to us for Australia but this early in the piece we have no firm idea of timing,” confirmed Peugeot Automobiles Australia’s Kirin Tipping.

“Naturally we also need to investigate thoroughly the business case for bringing the car here, and right now our immediate focus is on launching the 508 sedan and wagon in non-hybrid formats.

“But the car is a very exciting prospect and represents a major leap forward in what hybrid technology can achieve, and so in essence it's of great interest.” Unlike the 508 sedan and wagon range - which replaces the 407 line-up and will initially be available with 115kW 1.6-litre turbo-petrol, 120kW 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and 150kW 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engines, priced from $36,990 plus ORCs – the 508 RXH will be a dedicated hybrid model.

23 center imageIt is powered by the same diesel-electric drivetrain as seen in the 3008 Hybrid4, which is now being launched overseas and should join petrol and diesel versions of the high-riding 3008 wagon here by mid-2012.

“The 3008 HYbrid4 is being launched now to European markets and as yet we do not have a firm date for Australian release,” said Peugeot’s national marketing manager Richard Grant.

“We are extremely keen to get the car here and are working closely with Automobiles Peugeot, and at this stage a release in the second quarter of next year is possible but not yet confirmed.” Like the 3008 Hybrid4, the 508 RXH hybrid wagon combines a 150kW 2.0-litre HDI turbo-diesel engine with an electric motor and nickel metal hydride battery pack to create an all-wheel drive vehicle offering a total torque output of 450Nm, combined fuel consumption of just 4.2L/100km, CO2 emissions of 109g/km and a zero-emissions all-electric mode.

Higher and wider than the 508 SW upon which it is based, the Audi A6 Allroad-style 508 RXH is distinguished by a unique ‘floating’ grille, matte-grey lower body cladding that forms an unbroken line around the entire vehicle including its wheel-arches and a pair of triple vertical ‘lion claw’ LED daytime running lights.

Underlining its position at the top of the 508 range, the RXH crossover’s interior is claimed to offer more luxurious features, colours and materials.

Standard equipment will include an ‘Open & Go’ keyless entry/starting system, powered front seats, a head-up display, 18-inch wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof, dark-tinted acoustic laminated side windows and latest generation audio and satellite-navigation systems.

While the 508 sedan and wagon will be the most important Peugeot model released in Australia this year, the facelifted 308 Series II – which also made its local debut at last week’s Melbourne motor show – represents a vital upgrade for Peugeot’s volume-selling model.

On sale from August, the 308 II range brings higher specification levels and fixed-price servicing, but both the 308 and 508 ranges will be bolstered in October by the addition of 82kW 1.6-litre diesel variants with ‘e-HDi micro-hybrid’ idle-stop technology, which is said to reduce urban fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 15 per cent.

“It makes a powerful statement about Peugeot's environmental credentials and technological expertise, and is the logical follow-up to the fact that we have moved our entire passenger and SUV ranges to full Euro 5 compliance this year,” said Mr Grant.

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