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First look: Peugeot hybrid coupe concept

Coupe-style: Four-door Peugeot concept is similar in style to the Mercedes CLS and the forthcoming Porsche Panamera.

Peugeot previews a coupe-style four-door concept car for Paris motor show

22 Aug 2008

IT ONLY comes around every two years, so the French car-makers understandably get quite excited about the Paris motor show.

Peugeot is so keen that it has not only produced a sleek new concept car that will be officially unveiled on October 2, but could not keep the lid on it any longer and this week released some quite revealing teaser photographs.

It is the latest in a series of Peugeot RC concept cars that began in 2002, continued in 2006 and broke away from the Paris-only schedule last year at the Frankfurt show with the Audi TT-style 308-based RC Z, which will go into production in early 2010.

The forthcoming Paris concept is presently known only as the ‘RC…’ as Peugeot has rather annoyingly assumed that this will heighten our anticipation of what it will actually be called until the time of the reveal at the Paris Expo.

What we do know for sure is that the so-called GT coupe is built in the manner of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the forthcoming Porsche Panamera, with four seats and four doors, but with the style of a two-door machine.

23 center imagePower comes from a hybrid drivetrain that produces a maximum power output of 313 brake horsepower (233kW), but we will have to wait until the show to find out what type of engine is used and where the electric motors are located.

Official figures produced by the French car-maker show that the hybrid concept car produces very low emission, with a CO2 figure of 109g/km in the combined cycle or, of course, zero in electric-only mode.

Peugeot has revealed few mechanical details other than its “highly innovative hybrid architecture”.

The company says its aim with the four-door concept was to provide “a very high level of efficiency both in terms of performance and a minimal impact on the environment”.

“The ‘RC...’, whose full name will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show, is a hybrid concept car created from the passion and expertise of Peugeot's stylists and engineers,” said the company in a brief statement.

“It is a ‘GT’ coupe which provides the missing link between the RC and concept cars revealed in 2002 and the 908 RC, one of the stars of the 2006 Paris Motor Show.

“It’s a working laboratory of many future ideas and brings together numerous stylistic, engineering and technological ideas all in a single vehicle (and) is also an accessible and versatile car, with four doors and four seats.

“It is an exciting, eco-efficient vehicle which has all the characteristics that also ensure great driving enjoyment a synthesis of ideas which demonstrates that respect for the environment and driving pleasure can be compatible.” What is clear from the photographs is that the latest concept is a cross between the original Audi R8-style RC coupe show car of 2002 and the 908 RC Concept from the 2006 Paris show.

The latter was a big saloon car powered by the company’s Le Mans V12 turbo-diesel engine while the former was a mid-engined two-seater.

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