In the new June 2012 issue of CAR Magazine, Ben Oliver drove Peugeot's new 508 RXH across Morocco, from Tangiers in the north to Merzouga in the south. That's from the closet point to the European mainland to the edge of the Sahara desert. CAR has done numerous adventure drives across Morocco in the past, many of them in Peugeots. So what better steed of choice than the newest and most interesting Peugeot of the day: the new 508 RXH hybrid, a kinda Allroad from Paris.
You don't get roads like this in Cambridgeshire! The roads in Morocco are surprisingly well developed in places - well built, empty and ensconced in epic scenery.
You'll find plenty of old Peugeots in Morocco. This 504 wagon even has a local nickname: 'the mechanical camel'.
Peugeot's 508 RXH uses the company's HYbrid4 system: so you get a total of 200bhp, with the rear wheels powered by a 37bhp electric motor.
Four-wheel drive traction came in handy on our Moroccan adventure. But not as useful as the 40mpg average economy we managed - combined with a 15-gallon range, we could keep going for miles in the wilderness.
Hybrid estate to the Sahara. Writer Ben Oliver (middle) meets some locals. 'Is there a McDonald's nearby at all?'
Workhorse meets the local equivalent. Luggage capacity remarkably high on the two-hump edition.
This is the start of the Sahara desert. The road literally runs out in the dunes. Not sure we'll be tackling that, even with our electrically powered four-wheel drive...
It's not all sandy dust and deserts in Morocco: the north of Morocco is strangely similar to Wales, with lush vegetation, strange place names and four-legged animals criss-crossing the road erratically.
'Let's off-road!' Ben Oliver steers Peugeot 508 RXH across a weir.
'Kevin, are you sure those bridge uprights aren't made of empty loo rolls?'
A typical street scene in Ketama on market day. Brand new European-registered Peugeot doesn't exactly fit right in.
'So you think you're Stirling Moss, do you, Mr Oliver?'
Incredibly we hit snowstorms in northern Morocco. An hour later we were in a parched desert-like trail.
We've taken Ferraris to the Sahara before. Now we can add a Peugeot 508 RXH to that list. Don't forget to read the full, 12-page feature chronicling our Moroccan adventure in the new June 2012 issue of CAR Magazine. Click here for a free digital preview.