To the Batcave! – Peugeot 406 Toscana

Searching for your inner hero? This 1996 Peugeot concept had the key.

Peugeot 406 Toscana. Image: toplowridersites

The same year the Pininfarina bodied 406 Coupe was first shown, Peugeot also displayed this, the Toscana concept. What the Sochaux-based motor company’s intentions were remains unclear, but whatever the intent, it cannot have been all that serious. With a bespoke body marrying key styling elements of the 406 saloon – nose treatment, rear lamps, body swage line – to a distinctly sci-fi canopy section, the Toscana was as frivolous a concept could be while still loosely based on a production model. If anything, it puts one in mind of some of GM’s Motorama concepts from the 1950’s – or indeed Adam West’s Batmobile.

While some attribute the design to Pininfarina, I am doubtful. However if it was an in-house job, it does suggest Gérard Welter’s sense of humour as being somewhat leftfield. Curiously, Peugeot’s launch ad execution for the 406 (in the UK at least) featured M People’s turgid ‘Search For the Hero’ hit single. In the case of the Toscana, no searching would have been required – every driver instantly being conferred superhero status.

Image: hooniverse

So which was it? A Gallic batmobile or a 406 Speedster? Your guess is as good as mine. What it was however, was utterly bats.


Author: Eóin Doyle

Co-Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

9 thoughts on “To the Batcave! – Peugeot 406 Toscana”

  1. Definitely a touch of the Batmobile above the waist line. Did you ever get to the Cars of the Stars Museum in the Lake District? Closed down in 2011. Great shame because it was a fun place and had several incarnations of the Batmobile. Most of the collection is in the US now, I believe.

    1. Sadly no, although I have a distant memory of the museum’s existence. My experience of the Lake District was confined(?) to the great outdoors – of which there is a tremendous amount. All of it quite marvellous. But the museum sounds like it would have been an interesting diversion.

  2. Reminds me strongly of the 1992 -1996 Subaru SVX in profile, which was a Giugiaro effort I believe. Much more than the Batcar. The SVX is seared on my memory as the neighbours across the street went out on a limb and bought one.

  3. My initial thought: Chrysler cab forward. Is this crazy?
    The SVX reference I can see as well.

  4. The top half is very 1970s Turin concept car – and it mates rather incongruously with the all-too-stock bodyshell below the waterline. The design just about gets away with re-using the standard grille and lamps, cleanly executed as they are; the real sin is the use of 100% production-spec bumpers, rubbing strips and all. If you’re going to that much effort to do a flight of fancy, a bespoke couple of clips that don’t ruin the effect surely isn’t too much to ask.

  5. Peugeot have been doing this for years. They take whatever they are about to launch next and put something silly on top. They did exactly the same for the 208:

    So the ultimate point of the car is beside the point.

  6. That’s really unconvincing. Much too straight and low, also. The ratio between lower and upper body is wrong. And those interior colours… I do hope it’s a badly lit photo.

    That 208 is a different category altogether, I think. It’s deliberately silly and given the exact looks of a blown-up toy. With the Toscana I’m not sure. I fear it was meant to be serious.

  7. This strongly reminds me of those Pontiac Fiero/Toyota MR2-based Fauxrrari kit cars. It’s as though someone had run out of money halfway through the process of turning his 406 into a Ferrari F50 replica.

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