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A little off the top: 1996 Peugeot 406 Toscana Concept

Antti Kautonen September 28, 2016 Cars You Should Know, Geneva Motor Show 3 Comments

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It is perhaps not unreasonable to view the Peugeot 406 as one of the last minimalistically styled Peugeots. Its successor, the 407 did with a somewhat goofy elongated front treatment that didn’t translate well to a coupé derivative; earlier, in 1999, the bigger 605 was replaced with the 607, a far swoopier, overhangier effort. But the 1996-2004 406, well remembered from the Ronin chase, didn’t have a single line wrong in its design.

So, it makes perfect sense for Pininfarina to display this speedster version with barely any sense left in it. It’s brilliantly baffling.

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From the lead image, it isn’t even perfectly clear how Pininfarina played with the lines. The silhouette is almost untouched from the windows down, only incorporating more dramatic doors. And the rear panel has been cut to form a spoiler, under which the double-bubble speedster rear section sinks.

The dualism is daring: the simplicity of the things left alone underlines the weirdness of the changes, which do their best to make the basic car stand out. But as the 406 was fresh for 1996, it might have been wise to leave the recognizable features alone.

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These design sketches shed a little light on the thinking behind it, and one can almost see a jump seat fashioned into the rear, in the middle shot.

This clip from the Geneva Motor Show in 1996 shows the Toscana in the metal – or bondo, depending how much of which it contains.

[Source: Carstyling.ru/Peugeot/PSA]