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With the Peugeot 508 RXH Castagna resumes its partnership with Lechler, first forged over 100 years ago.
Friday, February 07, 2014

With the Peugeot 508 RXH Castagna resumes its partnership with Lechler, first forged over 100 years ago.

Categories: Refinish, Industry
The official presentation of the much-vaunted 508 RXH, the “One Off” by Peugeot manufactured by well-known Milan coachbuilder Castagna, took place on 3 February in the stunning Officine del Volo in Via Mecenate, Milan, and was attended by over a hundred journalists from the most important automotive and design publications.

The Peugeot 508 RXH Castagna is the Milanese designer's original reinterpretation of the French manufacturer's luxury model. This unique model is the tangible result of the two brands crossing paths. Eugenio Franzetti, Director of International Relations at Peugeot Italia, describes it thus: “Peugeot and Castagna have so many values in common that it was inevitable that our paths would cross sooner or later". The two brands first came across each other years ago at the Padua vintage cars fair and since then they have shared their passion for classic brands. As such, Castagna (founded in 1849) has also become a great admirer of the Lechler brand, leader in the paints and coatings industry for 156 years. In fact, this isn't the first time that Castagna has worked with Lechler: according to the official registers still kept in the company's historic archives, the two brands first worked together in 1912, as proven by a tin of "super fine varnish for coaches" in "China black" bearing the logo of the eagle and the date “Chiasso, 1882” found at Castagna. In addition, one of Lechler's most successful adverts, used in the 1930's, depicts an elegant vintage car that was manufactured by Castagna of Milan. In modern times the partnership has continued with other high-impact and successful projects.

“Eco c’est chic” was the motto used to present the Castagna 508 RXH. A choice that was consistent with the most recent trends, increasingly aimed at developing sophisticated design objects using environmentally sustainable materials. Hybrid but sporty, luxury but produced with materials that stem from a completely environmentally-friendly process, such as wood, tweed, waxed leather and a new material launched and patented by Alcantara that is similar to wool. Lechler's contribution was also based on simulation: the new metameric colour created by Lechler's R&D labs is called Mimesi and made it possible to achieve the goal of a single-colour product (the colour of the Alcantara interior matching the exterior colour) and establish a degree of continuity between the bonnet and the passenger compartment. A colourless colour, a new type of colour, a natural colour. Gioacchino Acampora, Chief Designer of the Milan design company, reveals: “the head of the Lechler Laboratories isn't surprised anymore when I arrive and neither does he worry about what I ask him: he is always impressed with my ideas, maybe he wonders where I get certain ideas from but he doesn't say so if he does... for my part, I am amazed just how much a colour can be understood and scientifically created using techniques that are so completely incomprehensible to creatives that they seem like magic tricks...".
“I wanted a 'natural single-material look' for this new car" - continues the designer - connected with the colour of the interior materials and the idea that the exterior of the car changes its look during the daytime like a rock that from blue at dawn becomes pink at sunset. But not a straightforward iridescence. A varnish that underlines the form of the car, emphasises original details and, with the utmost elegance, can never be repeated. Ton sur ton, the matt, gloss and texturised effects give texture to the colour, blending the colour of the car into the surrounding landscape. The upshot is a range of "coloured greys" with a darker pattern that gives the surface of the body a dark stone colour which, in this application, displays a burgundy red “core” with a “mix of greens”. The 'Mimesis' effect is represented by a pearly green-grey base for the single-colour perimeter, completed by a glossy, matt or texturised transparent varnish on, respectively, the bonnet, sides and wheel covers. Lechler was also briefed with formulating a protective transparent varnish for all of the wood inserts (both exterior and interior), a silvery black for the grill and the rims of the lights, a protective black for the rubber around the side windows and very Parisian shades for the external "core", i.e. the band of contrasting colour on the sides of the car.

The results are quite striking!

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