Peugeot Exalt concept (2014) first official picturesThu, 10 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
By Ben Pulman
First Official Pictures
10 April 2014 09:00
This is the Peugeot Exalt concept car – another confident sign from Peugeot it’s back to building handsome, desirable creations with some innovative tech to back up the fashion-show lines.
Not quite: this is only a design study previewing future ideas. The Exalt is set to be shown at the Beijing motor show later in April 2014. Still, even though it sits on the same platform as the new 308 and is likewise a five-door hatch, the Exalt is nevertheless an intriguing look at how Peugeot would take on the German sports saloon hierarchy.
The Exalt follows on from 2012’s Onyx, a supercar concept powered by a 600bhp diesel V8 from Peugeot’s defunct Le Mans programme. There’s no race engine this time around, rather the 267bhp turbo 1.6-litre out of the RCZ R, plus a plug-in hybrid module boasting a 50kW electric motor, for a 335bhp total distributed between all four wheels.
Again the Onyx has provided inspiration for the exterior, but while that supercar was half carbon and half copper, the Exalt looks like a primate with a red rump. Peugeot claims the rosy rear’s texture (designed to mimic shark skin) helps reduce drag, while the raw steel is a tribute to 1920s French automobiles.
The interior supposedly is a fusion of Chinese and French cultures, with wood sourced from Asian forests, and seats trimmed in fabric that wouldn’t look out of place on a cheap suit. The timber transmission tunnel stretches the length of the cabin, and is the ideal canvas for a disgruntled teenager to whittle their name.
Peugeot says the Exalt itself is not for production – it would clearly be mad to make good on something so attractive – but if a few styling ideas, such as the angular feline nose, scalloped doors and overbite bootlid, appear on its next Mondeo rival, this concept will have made a welcome influence. Here’s to the future!
The Chinese debut is no accident. China’s its second biggest car maker, Dongfeng, is taking a 14% stake in Peugeot, so the Exalt is aimed at pulling big crowds and whipping up enthusiasm for the French brand among Europe-savvy Chinese buyers.
By Ben Pulman