At the 2006 Paris auto show, Peugeot unveiled its 908 RC full-size sedan concept. That vehicle was a showcase of luxury and high-performance, utilizing the company's 700-horsepower Le Mans V12 diesel. Two years—and an oil price shock—later, Peugeot will return to the Paris show with another RC concept vehicle. This time, it's a hybrid.
Is the Peugeot RC Hybrid Concept a bold vision of what European roadways need during these carbon- and energy-obsessed times? Not quite. The new Peugeot RC hybrid—the complete name will be revealed in September at the show—went on a low-fuel low-carbon diet, but remains bloated at 313 horsepower. Despite the power, the company claims the four-door, four-seat will emit just 109 grams of CO2 per kilometer.
In all fairness, the Peugeot RC hybrid is strictly a concept with very little chance of going into production. The RC initials could be very loosely translated as "racing car." According to the Peugeot press release, RC is more of "a working laboratory of many future ideas and brings together numerous stylistic, engineering and technological ideas all in a single vehicle."
In Paris next month, the Peugeot RC hybrid will become only the most recent in a line of eco-friendly concept vehicles trotted out at by PSA Peugeot Citroën. All the concepts show groundbreaking fuel economy and negligible emissions. For example, the 307 Hybrid HDi and Citroën C4 Hybride HDi vehicles claimed 69 miles a gallon. That's easy enough to promise in a press release. The real challenge for Peugeot is to start working on a high-mpg hybrid and/or diesel production vehicle that customers could buy at reasonable price—and have it ready to show at the 2010 Paris auto show.
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