The Peugeot 508 RXH will become one of the world’s most fuel efficient off-road vehicles when it goes on sale in Europe in the second quarter of 2012.
Peugeot Automobiles Australia spokesman Scott Williams said the local distributor was "actively considering" the 508 RXH for Australia, and Peugeot Australia colleague Richard Grant echoed his enthusiasm.
"The car is definitely of interest to us for Australia but this early in the piece we have no firm idea of timing," Mr Grant said."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."
The 508 RXH is powered by Peugeot’s HYbrid4 powertrain, which teams a 2.0-litre diesel engine with an electric motor. The all-wheel drive high-riding wagon produces 147kW of power and 450Nm of torque at its peak, and can also be driven in full electric mode for short city trips with no emissions.
Its combined cycle fuel consumption of just 4.2 litres/100km puts it among the most economical cars in the world.
The standard Peugeot 508 Touring 2.0 HDi, which officially goes on sale in Australia on Friday alongside the 508 sedan, has a combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.7 litres/100km, 36 per cent higher than the RXH.
The 508 RXH is raised and widened compared with the standard Touring. The front sports unique ‘lion claw’ LED daytime running lights, while the exterior package is bolstered by grey plastic wheel arches and lower edges, 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic glass sunroof and dark-tinted side windows.
Inside, the RXH scores electric front seats, head-up display, Peugeot’s latest generation audio and satellite navigation unit and a premium interior finish with unique colours and upholstery.
Read our Peugeot 508 review.