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