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The Peugeot 508 RXH Castagna is a tailor-made interpretation of the Lion’s top of the range model prepared by the Milanese Coachbuilder Castagna. The creation of this unique model is the synthesis resulting from the combined perspectives of the two brands.
Eugenio Franzetti, Public Relations Manager of Peugeot Italia, says: “Peugeot and Castagna have so many values in common that it was inevitable their paths would cross, sooner or later. First of all, tradition: Castagna was established in 1849, Peugeot has over 200 years of history... it is no surprise that we met at a vintage car
As a matter of fact, both Brands have a veritable cult of tradition. Peugeot preserves its heritage at the Sochaux Museum (France) and can boast an organization - “L’Aventure Peugeot” – which unites all the Lion’s Classic Car Clubs existing globally, including Peugeot Italy’s Club Storico.
“The past is a continuous source of inspiration for the future;” adds Eugenio Franzetti “If we look at the history of our models, it clearly emerges that Peugeot has always pursued innovation and development within its model range, either by manufacturing unique models or by drawing upon independent body stylists, for its sports models like the Dar’l Mats or for series production cars, where the collaboration with the car designer Pininfarina is exemplary. Therefore, it was perhaps an obvious decision to sublimate the intrinsic values of the Peugeot models – quality finish, attention to detail, real driving enjoyment – in the production of a unique model that could incorporate the typical values of the Castagna products: development of new materials and their unprecedented mix and match; the warmth, the refinement and the originality of its creations, the scrupulous quality craftsmanship.”
Castagna chose the 508 RXH model, the flagship of the range for Peugeot given its generous equipment and it was its “Allroad” design that provoked and inspired the coachbuilder from Milan to express his creativity and enhance the premium quality features of this model.
Currently, 508 RXH is the highest technological expression of the Peugeot brand. Its innovative HYbrid4 technology allows to mate a 2.0 litre, 163 bhp front diesel engine with a 37 bhp rear electric motor, capable of delivering a maximum power of 200 bhp that can be best exploited, depending upon the circumstances, by selecting one of the four modes foreseen by the drive mode selection knob positioned on the central tunnel.
You can select the Auto mode to privilege riding comfort and sustainable mobility, or the Sport mode to maximise performance and available power. However you can also ride in the ZEV mode relying only on the electric motor or use the 4WD to exploit the two powertrains and continuously power the front and rear wheels.
“Together with Castagna, we set out from the distinctive features of the 508 RXH and from its HYbrid4 technology to imagine a journey. The journey of a successful man who lives in an urban context but who is also keen to escape for short getaways in the countryside or for short mountain skiing holidays, and travels through these different landscapes in the environmentally - friendly way which a hybrid car allows” concludes Eugenio Franzetti.
It is now the turn of Gioacchino Acampora, Castagna Coachbuilder’s chief designer, to reveal his sources of inspiration for this car: “It is no secret: over the last few years – and I even wrote it “back in the day” - I have stated my admiration for French design and the manner in which the French make products. However, since when I had the opportunity to drive some of the Lion’s cars, my actual feelings have surpassed my expectations. Recent prototypes developed by Peugeot like the Onyx concept car, are astonishing due to the use of natural and warm materials, providing a marked contrast to the “logical” aspect of the geometrical lines.
The underlying idea is simply to allow the spirit of the car to emerge through the use of a single colour. I have often experienced that magical sensation of noiseless drive that this car provides. Sometimes, one would purposely choose a given route just to get lost in the sound of silence: so strong was the desire for “mimesis” at a certain point. We drew inspiration from all this to develop a livery that blended the interior to the exterior of the car in a single seamless chromatic tone and this was possible thanks to Lechler and Alcantara.
”Now the bodywork has a new materic colour, a neutral cold external tone which acquires warmth inside the vehicle: the special “lanose” grey - green Alcantara is the ideal material complementing padded upholstery in real British tweed, the mustard yellow leather inlays with a burgundy leather “waistcoat” and a sophisticated hand - crafted trim.
The choice of Alcantara for the interior is consistent with the environmentally friendly materials used for the 508 RXH HYbrid4: thanks to the Carbon Neutrality certification, Alcantara has zero impact in terms of emissions “The burgundy contrasting colour (also available in a wide specially - selected colour range in French style) is a play of opaque and satiny, smooth and textured surfaces,” - adds Gioacchino Acampora – “transforming the side body into quadrilateral elements which nicely tie in with and reinforce the overall style.
The opaque “core” is tinted by the colour of choice and is then complemented by a “colourless” colour, a greyish tone verging towards a green melange which reflects the outdoors, whether this be urban, rural, marine or alpine. It absorbs the landscape, blending the car into its settings.
The slender deep - blue trim of the radiator grille denounces the environmentally - friendly nature of the powertrain, it features around the dial measuring the “ECO” percentile of driving and generally covers, in a slightly darker hue the platform of the vehicle and is featured in the contrasting top stitching of the internal upholstery. The stealthy “feline” head lamps are smaller, now painted internally and embellished with black chrome detailing: the exact same tone is used for the window surround trim and for the roof bars which now blend seamlessly into the darkened panoramic glass roof.
The same strength is conveyed by the dynamic silhouette caused by shifting “forward” the volumes of the new sill panels which sinuously connect to the wheel arches redesigned to accommodate the 19” rims and the unique tyres.”
The use of wood is a recurring theme for Castagna: “the external trims in smoked oak enhance the angle which strongly characterizes the belt line through to the headlights and with the rubber profiles on the doors completes the contrasting bodywork colour. The use of wood has also been extended to the boot, the sides of which are panelled, just as the parcel shelf, in oak, patterned by the same “energetic” graphics which characterize the whole original design of the current Peugeot range.
Some up - market “must” components are unveiled in this accessorized boot space, creating a vehicle geared towards outdoor leisure; such as a torch and 220 volt sockets to plug in an induction hob for picnics where nothing is cold except by choice or to charge up electrical bicycles allowing free range of movement.”