When people think of a limousine, they probably think about a big, luxurious and comfortable like car, like a Mercedes S-class or a Rolls Royce or a BMW 760Li…
When people think of powerful engines, they often think about race cars, sports cars or supercars…
As you probably know, many manufacturers use motorsport-inspired technologies to develop and sell cars. Well, Peugeot does so, but in 2006 they did it in a very odd way.
At the 2006 Paris Auto show, Peugeot came up with the 908 RC, a concept car which combined luxury and high-performance diesel technology in a 4-passenger limousine. The 908 RC owes its name to its high-performance engine: the Peugeot V12 HDi DPFS (Diesel Particulate Filter System). This 5.5-litre V12 twin-turbo engine also powered the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP race car which made its debut a year later in 2007 to battle against the dominant Audis at Le Mans.
In the 908 RC, the V12 delivered 700 hp and 1200 Nm (!) of torque and was capable of a top speed of more than 300 kmh, but was also quite “environmental-friendly” due to two particulate filters which were fitted at the end of its exhaust system. To withstand the huge amount of torque, Peugeot fitted a very compact 6-speed electronically controlled sequential gearbox under the V12 engine. This resulted in a very low center of gravity and thus in a better handling car.
But that is not the only thing which was quite special to this car and engine, because Peugeot had decided to place the engine in a rear central transverse position behind the passenger seats and in front of the rear axle. This allowed Peugeot to create a large-capacity boot in the back and a capacity boot in the nose of the car.
Weighing about 1800 kilograms, the car was quite heavy despite having a carbon composite and honeycomb aluminium frame. To get this weight to a stop, Peugeot had fitted four ceramic carbon-composite brakes and four-piston calipers by Brembo to slow the car down in a decent way.
In terms of technique, the 908 RC was absolutely based on motorsport techniques and parts.
Let’s move on with the exterior.
So Peugeot made an elegant and dynamic low-lying body design which gave the overall effect of a big cat. To suit this design, large 20 spoke alloy wheels (20 inch at the front, 21 inch at the rear) were fitted. At the front, the LED headlights were styled like the outline of the pupil of a cat’s eye. The rear lights were also designed with a cat in mind. The rear lights were designed like a powerful claw.
The main goal, however, was to create a very aerodynamic car. Every design detail was aerodynamically designed to optimise the car’s performance and fuel consumption, but also to keep the drivetrain cooled enough. A special aerodynamically front grill, a diffusor and an adjustable and retractable rear spoiler were some of the most important parts to do so.
For the interior, Peugeot used a lot of leather, polished leather and oak details. Furthermore, they created a very clean dashboard by putting a big LCD touchscreen in the middle of it. The touchscreen controls a lot of functions like navigation, radio and air conditioning. Also in the back, a LCD touchscreen gave control to air conditioning for its passengers. You can conclude that the car was very luxurious.
Unfortunately, the car never came into production. And I find that unfortunate, because I think that the 908 RC would have been a perfect competitor against the Mercedes S-Class AMG’s and other powerful limousines. I understand that a 700 hp V12 diesel would have been too expensive to put into mass production, but a smaller V8 or V6 would have been more achievable and cheaper.
• A 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V12 HDi DPFS with 700 hp and 1200 Nm of torque.
• Carbon ceramic brakes.
• A 6-speed electronically controlled sequential gearbox.
• Weight of 1800 kilograms.
• A top speed of over 300 kmh.