Welcome to the Time Machine! For those of you who used to listen to our (now on hiatus) podcast, you may remember the Time Machine segment where we would pick a random year and would then talk about any car or car related subject that was tied to that year. The car or subject didn’t have to have any specific theme other than that it was in a way tied to that year and that it meant something to us personally, even if it was just something that we thought was cool. So think of this as the written version of the same segment. Let’s have some fun!
As the DeLorean time machine enters back in to time, you land on the road, the tires screech, you look around and the instrument panel tells you that you are now in 1995. As you flip open the doors you step out and realize that Toy Story has just been released in the theaters, the Japanese Subway is subject to a terrible sarin gas attack, and everyone is watching the OJ Simpson murder trial. The Balkan wars are finally coming to an end, and Microsoft launches the much anticipated Windows 95! With all that going on sure it would be easy to be distracted, but you stay focused! You are here for one reason and one reason only! To check out the 1995 Peugeot 406 Sedan!
Lets start with some simple history, the Peugeot 406 was released in September of 1995 as a direct replacement for its predecessor, the 405. Initially, the car was available with 1.8 L and 2.0 L petrol and 1.9 L turbodiesel engines, followed by a turbocharged 2.0 petrol, 2.9 (2946 cc, badged as a 3.0) V6 petrol, and 110 bhp 2.1 L turbodiesel. The diesel versions were very popular, and the 406 became one of Europe’s best selling diesel powered cars. The car ran in France (its country of origin) from 1995 to 2004 and was available in Sedan, Coupe and Wagon variants though I am completely partial to the sedan.
The Peugeot 406 used the same platform as the Citroën Xantia, though without that car’s sophisticated hydropneumatic suspension system. The styling of the 406 is heavily influenced by its predecessor, the 405, which began to be phased out from the 406’s launch in September 1995, and eventually finished production in Europe in 1997. The two door coupé, launched at the 1996 Paris Motor Show, was both designed and manufactured by Italian design studio Pininfarina, with choices of a 2.0 L four cylinder engine or a 3.0 L V6, and from 2001, a 2.2 L HDi diesel engine. On later models, a 2.2 L petrol engine was available. A total of 107,633 coupés were made. The design was originally offered to Fiat by Pininfarina in about 1990, only for Fiat to reject the design and design its own coupe.
Ok so what gives? Why did we travel back in time for basically what is an economy family sedan of the 90’s? Well, though most of the offerings were kind of soft and not that great the 3.0 liter (2946cc) motor was actually pretty good and it made a quality 204 horses and 210 lb-ft of torque, which considering the times was actually pretty impressive for a family sedan. Also it was available with a five speed manual so no complaints there either. But that can’t be the only reasons right?
Yes, you are right, the real reason for the back in time trip was to see the beginnings of the car that a few years later as a 1997 model would become the base car for Daniel Morales’ Peugeot 406 Taxi. You have no idea what I’m talking about? Ok, so remember the super lame movie named Taxi with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon? You know the one where she drives a modded out Ford Crown Victoria? Yeah that one, well that movie was a rip off of a really good, and one of my favorite, French movies where a taxi driver, Daniel drives a modified Peugeot 406. Seriously, it’s a 5 movie series (though the later few get a bit crazy much like The Fast and The Furious) and way better than the American Taxi movie, go check it out, I mean it was written and produced by Luc Besson (same guy who did The Fifth Element, Lucy, Valerian and the city of a Thousand Planets and Anna).
Long story short, I have a super soft spot for the sedan version of the car as I saw the first Taxi film back in 1998 at the young age of eleven right around the time that I was starting to really get heavily in to cars and car modification and this car just stuck with me as one of those cars of my youth that I would always remember. The car was cool and exciting as it was heavily modified, but also the ultimate sleeper as all of the mods, including the body kit were mechanically hidden so the car could look completely stock when needed. If nothing else I have this trip in time thought you about a fun car movie that you can use to kill some of your boredom during quarantine time. I hope you enjoyed your trip in this weeks time machine, see you next time!