Having been indoctrinated into the Peugeot famille since birth, I like to think I know Peugeots pretty well. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy truly wonderful cars from this under-appreciated brand, spanning from the 405 to the present day 308. Coupes, saloons, hatchbacks, convertibles and citycars, I have experienced most of the segments Peugeot contends in, and I love them all.
Today, I am not going to bore you with yet another 205 GTi story (which ironically enough, I have yet to experience). No, I am going to moan, at significant length, on Peugeot abandoning the coupe from its line-up.
First, a little back story about myself. Growing up, I was not brought up around sportscars. My dip into the world of cars started with two brands, Peugeot and Alfa Romeo. I have always known my father to drive a Peugeot saloon, and his best friend an Alfa Romeo saloon. My earliest memory of this is looking at the back of my dad’s then brand new 406 and his friend’s 156. I remember looking at these two different machines, their different lines, in wonder. Even now, I think back to that moment and I marvel how these two brands interpreted the saloon in completely different ways, yet the result was still elegant. While the Alfa was more flamboyant, the 406 was more understated.
As a grew and began to take a more active interest, I started to hear more about the mysterious 406 Coupe, designed by Pinin Farina. I remember my curiosity behind the term “coupe” wondering what could be so different from my dad’s own car. That was until I saw one, driving past us one particular torrential evening, in Aegean Blue. I was starstruck, completely enamoured by this Franco-Italian collaboration. I still look at the 406 Coupe in awe of how this singular car captures the aesthetic influences of both these great countries in one humble coupe. From that moment, my love for coupes began.
Eventually, the 406 was replaced by the 407, and the Coupe was also take off the market. Then in the mid-2000s the 407 Coupe Prologue arrived, this time designed in-house by Peugeot, though many claim the design did incorporate some consultation from Pinin Farina. Arguably, the 407 Coupe was not as pretty as the 406 Coupe before it, but the 407 was more striking, and carried itself differently. Naturally, my dad and I were in love with this 407, and would eventually go on to buy one, in the same dark crimson as the concept car.
The point of all of this is that I have always known there to be a coupe within the Peugeot line-up. The RCZ is further proof of my own statement. It might not have been the direct replacement of the 407 Coupe but it was yet another great coupe to add to their history. So I was struck with an inconsolable anger when it was announced that Peugeot would not be making anymore coupe’s for the foreseeable future. Peugeot’s reasons behind this decision are undeniably logical. Coupe’s are not profitable for Peugeot, in a world of A5s, 4-Series and C-Class Coupes. The majority of buyers of these cars want a nice vulgar German badge on their bonnet. They don’t care about history or design. These days, it’s all about the badge snobbery, so the choice is between the plain ugly 4-Series, the uninspiring A5 or the ostentatious C-Class Coupe. What a choice. It’s like picking between gonorrhoea, syphilis, or anal warts.
So, Peugeot, this is an appeal, to you, as one of the grandmasters of the coupe, please bring back to the coupe you have so unfairly taken away from us. Show these Germans what design is. Please.