Peugeot is finding its way again. We’ve driven the 3008 (it’s a really good car, actually), looked at the 5008 (that appears pretty good too) and having sampled the 208 and 308 GTis of Peugeot Sport, we can report Peugeot knows how to build more than good crossovers these days. Peugeot is officially out of the wilderness.
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TG’s guide to concepts: Peugeot's V12 907 supercar
Ever wondered what a French rival to the McMerc SLR would be like?
Just over a decade ago, things were different. Different, and worse. Peugeot’s range was pretty unremarkable, and not at all pretty. Rather bland, in fact. Peugeot decided what was needed were giant, gurning grins on every car’s face, and the best way to introduce this bold new expression to the world was with an impossibly ambitious super-GT concept. And lo, the world met the Peugeot 907.
Fashioned from carbon fibre, the gargantuan 907 positioned not one 3.0-litre V6, but two, spliced together, behind its front axle line. Yep, it’s not just Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes that can make a giant front-engined V12. Peugeot claimed the one-off engine was good for 500bhp and 443lb ft, and in a car that weighed just 1400kg (not much for an oil tanker), it’d reach 60mph in 4.0 seconds, and top out at 180mph. A speed, incidentally, that was purely theoretical, as the car was designed as a styling exercise and did without wind tunnel testing to see what would happen at a velocity approaching 300kmh.
No, it was design attention to detail that the 907 existed to show off. Job done, then. The bonnet’s clear section exposed twelve intake trumpets for the 6.0-litre engine, a nod to classic Ferraris like the 250 GTO which, let’s be honest, no Peugeot has ever really had a right to emulate.
Being a child in the early 2000s, the 907 did have a manual gearbox, but one that was automated via electromechanical gubbins rather than controlled with a lever and the driver’s hand-leg co-ordination. The transmission sat just ahead of the car’s rear axle for superior weight distribution, and drove the rear wheels alone. In almost every respect, the 907 was set up to be a proper thoroughbred. Back in 2004, this Pug would’ve given a Ferrari 575M a run for its highly-strung money. If it’d been, y’know, sold. Like a proper car.
Not only did the 907 never stand a chance of being put into production, but the very design language it inspired has also been consigned to Peugeot’s tumultuous history, with sharp, angular lines and aggressive, feline faces replacing the giant schnozzed, Gotham Joker-grin of the early Noughties. It won’t be a loved period in Peugeot design, but would you deny no car wore it better than the supremely bonkers 907 concept?