3 March 2004

A new Peugeot coupé is on the way – and it will look very like this 407 Silhouette concept. Strip the Geneva show car of its wing, skirts, blistered wheelarches and go-faster stripe, and you are left with the new 407 coupé.

Expect a much sportier-looking car than the elegant 406 two-door it succeeds. The Pininfarina-styled 406 coupé was differentiated from the saloon by its curvy exterior; the standard 407 is already sleeker, so Peugeot is giving the new coupé a sharper, more butch character to set it apart.

Hence the Silhouette concept is bolstered with exaggerated arches, plunging skirts, wide door sills and a carbonfibre rear spoiler. A deliberate statement of sporting intent, the Silhouette packs a mid-mounted 3.0-litre V6 punching out 320bhp.

The show car also gets a sequential six-speed transmission, adjustable double wishbone suspension and 19in alloys. With carbonfibre body panels, quad exhaust pipes and bucket seats, Peugeot says it’s an extreme vision of an enthusiast’s road car that could be driven to, and adapted for, track-day use.

The road-going 407 coupé will look much tamer, however. While elements like the Silhouette’s roof-mounted air intakes and front wing air extraction vents will go, features like the bumper air intakes are only a possibility.

‘The Silhouette represents a return to serious performance credentials for the 407, which was lost somewhat with the last car,’ said a spokesman. ‘The mid-mounted V6 won’t make production, but the car remains a good indication of how the coming performance derivative will look.’

Peugeot has also confirmed final UK pricing for the standard 407. The entry-level 1.8-litre S saloon will cost £14,750; the equivalent five-door SW estate comes at a £1100 premium. Topping the range at the car’s May launch is the £23,350 3.0 V6 SW in leather-upholstered Executive trim. Also of interest at Peugeot’s Geneva stand are the French manufacturer’s first GTi-badged performance diesel hatchbacks. The new 206 GTi oil-burner runs the 110bhp 1.6-litre common-rail Euro4 diesel developed in conjunction with Ford and is capable of a temporary ‘over-boosted’ peak of 190lb ft of torque; the larger 307 XSi gets the more powerful 136bhp 2.0-litre HDi.

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