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Future models - Peugeot - 508 - RXH

Paris show: Local debut set for Peugeot 508 RXH

Crossing over: A diesel version of the 508 RXH high-riding wagon looks set to be added to the local Peugeot line-up next year.

Non-hybrid crossover version of facelifted Peugeot 508 wagon set for 2015 launch

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Peugeot logo7 Oct 2014

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in PARIS

PEUGEOT is set to release a surprise high-riding crossover-style version of the facelifted 508 Touring wagon onto the Australian market next year, offering buyers an alternative to large SUVs.

Due in the first half of next year, the new RXH Diesel is the non-hybrid version of the French mid-sizer, powered by a 133kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder HDi turbo-diesel engine driving the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

The aim is to take on the popular Subaru Outback, as well as the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack that launched in Australia just over two years ago.

Peugeot importers Sime Darby Motor Group refused to confirm the existence of the 508 RXH, telling GoAuto at the Paris motor show that it was one of many vehicles “under consideration” for the Australian market.

However, Peugeot Automobiles head of product, Xavier Peugeot, contradicted the Australian importers by revealing local compliance versions of the non-hybrid 508 RXH Touring would commence production in France next month, ahead of a launch Down Under in the first half of 2015.

“Currently 14 per cent of 508 Touring production is the RX Hybrid,” he said.

“It has been very successful. But there is also demand for a crossover version without the hybrid system… and we are going to commercialise this from November. It is coming to Australia.” The expected arrival of the 508 RXH does not bode well for the Hybrid4 version, which would cost well over $65,000 by the time it landed in this country due to its separate electric motor and battery set-up.

Dubbed ‘HYbrid4’, the drivetrain consists of a 120kW/300Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder HDi turbo-diesel driving the front wheels via a six-speed clutchless manual Electronic Gearbox Control (EGC), while a 27kW/200Nm electric motor is mounted on the rear axle – though there is never more than 450Nm of torque being transferred to the wheels at any one time.

The part-time AWD system can direct up to 40 per cent of drive to the rear wheels.

Sime Darby did consider importing the pre-facelift version two-and-a-half years ago, but hot-weather durability testing delays put the project on hold indefinitely.

As previously reported, regular versions of the 508 mid-size range are expected to arrive in local Peugeot dealerships in the first quarter of next year, with an expected starting price of about $36,990, plus on-road costs.

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