Marseille, 29. February 2012 – the peugeot 508 RXH is not peugeot’s first diesel hybrid, but it remains an unusual and original concept. Under the front hood works a two-liter diesel with 163 hp. It drives the front axle via the six-speed automated manual transmission located next to it. The rear axle is driven by an electric motor with 27 kw (37 hp). The small nimh battery and the power electronics are also located on the rear axle. This results in an all-wheel drive, albeit with a somewhat weaker rear end – an all-wheel drive light to a certain extent. We were able to drive the diesel hybrid all-wheeler for the first time.
The car’s system output is 200 hp, the torque reaches 450 nm at low speed and is permanently above 360 nm. After our experience with the 3008 hybrid4, we expected nothing but good things from the 508 RXH in terms of powertrain. The compact van convinces with good downforce and surprisingly smooth gear changes. For the first time, you can experience an automated manual transmission that doesn’t annoy you with the usual interruptions in thrust when changing gears. In the 3008 hybrid4, peugeot engineers have managed to have the electric motor compensate for the lack of diesel propulsion during gear changes. With the 508 RXH, however, we were soon disillusioned. First, the diesel hybrid in the midsize station wagon seems much less nippy than in the compact van, partly due to its heavier weight: the 508 RXH is around 100 kilos heavier than the 3008 hybrid4.
Trackable gearshift pauses
Secondly, the gearshift pauses in the 508 RXH are very noticeable in some situations, for example when you have just driven down a slope and now want to drive up again on the other side – then the car hangs a little. Even those who are under stress and accelerate in a less than relaxed manner will be able to spurt the tractive power interruptions. It gets better when you set the sport mode on the selector wheel in the center console – also familiar from the 3008 hybrid4. In terms of objective driving performance, the 508 RXH cuts a good figure: only 8.5 seconds are needed for the sprint to 100 mph. This is exactly the same value as the 3008 hybrid4. The maximum speed is 213 km.