Peugeot has confirmed the 508 RXH will be its second diesel-electric hybrid model, following on from the forthcoming 3008 HYbrid4. As a HYbrid4 vehicle the Peugeot 508 RXH offers the unusual combination of 200bhp, four-wheel drive and emissions of just 109g/km CO2.
Peugeot 508 RXH: distinctive looks
However, the clever technology isn’t the most immediately striking thing about the 508 RXH.
While it’s clear this new Peugeot is related to the recently introduced 508 SW estate, it’s also obviously slightly different. It seems that the French manufacturer has gone down an Audi Allroad route here, raising the ride height and giving it unique bodywork treatment that makes it both wider and highly distinctive.
These physical alterations include new LED daytime running lights in the shape of ‘lion claws’, a ‘floating’ grille and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Standard equipment on the well appointed RXH consists of a panoramic roof, keyless-go, head-up display, electric front seats and an up-to-date infotainment system including satellite navigation. The interior also benefits from ‘distinctive colours and luxurious materials’, all finished in ‘premium quality’.
Want to find out how you can drive greener? Follow our tips to battle high fuel prices
Diesel-electric power and four-wheel drive
As with the 3008 HYbrid4, which is due to reach UK dealerships later this year, the 508 RXH is powered by a combination of a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine and an electric motor.
What’s unusual about Peugeot’s hybrid configuration is not just the use of a diesel rather than a petrol engine – though this is unique in the marketplace so far – but also the way the combustion engine drives the front wheels and the electric motor drives the rears.
This gives the 508 RXH four-wheel drive capability and a combined power output of 200bhp. It also has a full ‘zero emissions’ electric-motor-only operating mode (no word on the range of this as yet). Official combined CO2, however, is 109g/km, with claimed fuel consumption of 67.2mpg.
While these figures are impressive, they’re not revolutionary – the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics achieves the same results using diesel power alone, albeit without the added traction of four-wheel drive.
Read our test drive of BMW’s super-efficient 320d Efficient Dynamics
Debut at Frankfurt
The new Peugeot 508 RXH will debut at the Frankfurt motor show this September, and is scheduled to go on sale in Spring 2012.
Peugeot has also confirmed that the RXH and diesel-electric 3008 are just the beginning for its HYbrid4 technology, with other models – including Citroens no doubt – set to appear in due course.
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