Peugeot seeks freedom and outdoor action with Boxer 4x4 camper van
Peugeot has been coming to play. Following up on its multi-camper van presence at the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon earlier this month, it held one more new camper van back for home turf at the Recreational Vehicle Show that starts this weekend in Le Bourget, France. The largest camper van of Peugeot's show-touring lot, the all-new Boxer 4x4 Concept aims to be a full-blown adventure mobile for extended multi-sport expeditions. It combines unforgettable paintwork, a Dangel 4x4, off-road accessories, space for three, and gear for adventures of land and water.
Having already highlighted camper vans built on the compact Partner and mid-size Traveller in Düsseldorf, Peugeot turns to its largest van and most obvious choice for a rolling mountain hut. The Boxer is the Fiat Ducato's lion-badged French cousin, and the Ducato is the most popular motorhome base in all of Europe. These vans offer plenty of length, width and height for all the proper camper amenities, including a bathroom. The Boxer 4x4 Concept is based on the 19.7-foot (6-m) variant.
Peugeot frames the Boxer 4x4 Concept as the successor to the tiny but formidable 2018 Rifter 4x4 Concept (Peugeot clearly not one to waste time whiteboarding creative names). While the Rifter 4x4 was a compact, nimble machine for accessing remote trailheads, the Boxer 4x4 is a larger shuttle-shelter built to support epic dual-sport voyages. Like the Rifter, it relies on a Dangel 4x4 with rear differential locker and BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. It gains an extra 2 inches (50 mm) of clearance at the rear and 1.2 in (30 mm) up front.
Many a modern show floor camper van has the obligatory mountain bike(s) on back, but not as many match badges and colors. Peugeot complements the Boxer 4x4 with a minty fresh version of its very own eM02 FS Powertube electric mountain bike, the perfect partner for exploring beyond dirt road's end. And should that road end in flat water instead of singletrack, the Boxer 4x4 also packs a color-matched walnut canoe on its roof, comfortably housed on a custom-built rack that steers clear of skylight operation.
Peugeot clearly spent more time outside than inside and doesn't get more specific about the camper conversion, in word or photograph, than mentioning kitchen, bathroom, dining and sleeping areas and the ability to "accommodate up to three people on a long-term basis." It did leave a big clue hanging out there, though: fender badges from Bravia Mobil, another Slovenian RV brand. Outside of a single Mercedes Sprinter camper van, Bravia's entire lineup is made up of Peugeot-based conversions, and they're a pretty stylish, space-efficient lot from what we've seen of them.
Given the Boxer 4x4's length, we can surmise that it's a Bravia Swan 599, a classic European camper van package with a rear transverse double bed and a four-seat front dinette that partners with the swivel driver seat to create a third sleeping berth. Beyond that, the basic Swan 599 includes a central wet bathroom behind the dining area and a kitchen block with dual-burner stove, sink and fridge.
Of course, Peugeot puts its own signature imprint inside and outside this particular Swan. We've always admired Bravia's usual blend of glossy black paintwork and city skyline interior decor, but the deep "wanderlust green" Peugeot uses on the front 2/3 of the body is quite handsome itself — or would be without the unnecessary mint accents and rear party stripes. We do give a hat tip for the seamless extension of paint scheme into canoe, though.
The minty eyesore trim continues inside, where Peugeot also grabs what eco cred it can with camper flooring made of 100 percent recycled plastic. We'd have preferred a new electric Boxer base, but we'll have to settle for repurposed shampoo and milk bottles.
Peugeot puts the star on the treetop with a new motorhome-specific infotainment/nav system developed in cooperation with Alpine. The system factors in the vehicle's dimensions when routing, avoiding structures and roadways that are undersized.
The Boxer 4x4 certainly isn't as thoroughly detailed or adventure-driven as the hammock-topped, Ducato-based Cliff 4x4 Adventure concept, but it'd make for a fun weekend, vacation or "long-term basis".