Tony O'Kane | Oct 18, 2011

Reports coming out of Europe suggest that Peugeot could base its replacement for the 607 luxury sedan on the HX1 concept crossover, which debuted last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Expected to be called the 608, the car would become the new flagship for the French automaker - an unusual position for a car that, in concept form at least, resembles a people mover.

A productionised version of the HX1 would lose the concept's dramatic gullwing doors and integrated coffee machine(!), but could be powered by something not too dissimilar to the concept's diesel-electric hybrid powertrain.

The HX1 is designed around a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine, supplemented by a torquey electric motor mounted on the rear axle.

Combined output of the diesel-electric system is supposedly 220kW, and by having the electric motor drive the rear wheels exclusively the HX1 is effectively all-wheel drive.

Production powertrains will likely comprise a range of lower-output diesels, along with a similar diesel-electric powerplant to the Peugeot 508 RXH.

At five metres long, the HX1/608 has roughly the same footprint as a Mercedes-Benz R-Class, albeit with a much lower-slung body.

It's unlikely whether the production version, if it eventuates, will keep the concept's unusual 4+2 seating arrangement, but there should be plenty of room in the rear for a couple of fold-out occasional seats.

The 607 was sold in Australia up until 2009, so there's a chance the rumoured 608 could make its way down under too. For now though, the 608's existence has yet to be acknowledged by Peugeot and we wouldn't expect to see a production model until late 2013.

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