Peugeot will showcase the European version of its Exalt Concept. This is the second time the concept will be shown to the public, the first display was around five months back at the Beijing Motor Show. The car is based on the Onyx Concept of 2012.
The Exalt Concept is a looker, and has sleek, slender proportions. It is a five-door saloon and is a peek in to the company’s vision of future saloons. The car features a two-tone exterior that boasts of bare, handcrafted steel bodywork at the front and the rear is covered in a cloth fabric that the company likes to call “Shark skin”. This is not really made out of shark skin but is a cloth with a grainy structure that Peugeot says reduces the drag co-efficient of the car. This leads to better aerodynamic performance and reduced fuel consumption. The car is long and sits pretty low, the length of this machine is 4.7 metres and overall height is just 1.3 metres.
The front end looks sharp and edgy owing to the presence of twin headlamps which come with black light technology. The front grille is wide and has a three slat layout with the symbolic lion occupying a place of pride in the middle with the bumpers being home to the massive air intakes. The side profile looks smooth with the swooping roofline, sculpted side mirrors and the sinuously crafted wheel arches under which rest the 20-inch wheels. The rear gets a trunk lip spoiler and the tail light consists of three vertical strips giving the car its sharp and edgy rear appearance. Flat looking rectangular exhausts on each side integrated in to the large air outlets finish off the external description.
The interior of the car is something that is far from conventional and is themed around Peugeot’s i-Cockpit concept. The rectangular steering wheel is wrapped in leather and chine (a fabric based on wool). The dashboard is positioned right in front, and a bit higher up to provide better visibility and ease of use. The dashboard also gets nine toggle switches – two on the left side of the steering wheel and seven on the right. The company says that this project was inspired by the world of music and this notion is more prominent in these switches than anywhere else – they look like piano keys. The user can also customize any function to these buttons as they desire including the black light functionality. The center console is dominated by two folding touch screens. The upper one gives access to the onboard computer, audio and navigation systems while the lower one can be used to control the automatic climate control and ‘Pure Blue’ system. The bucket seats themselves are made from composite materials and are enshrouded in chine fabric and aged leather. Chine fabric can also be found in the door trims, roof and dashboard along with the use of “Newspaper Wood”, which literally makes use of recycled business newspapers that also gives the interior its distinct salmon-pink hue.
The Exalt is powered by a plug-in Hybrid4 drivetrain producing a maximum output of 340bhp which is shared between all the four wheels. The 1.6litre, four-cylinder engine pushes out 270bhp and is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Peugeot says that this motor is one of the best out there when it comes to bhp per litre – it’s rated at 170bhp per litre. A 50kW electric motor is stowed away in the rear multi-link axle. This motor can charge the battery during braking by converting kinetic energy in to electricity and thus utilizing the energy that could have been dissipated by the braking system as heat. The car can be driven in three modes: all-electric, petrol-only and petrol-electric hybrid.
There are some features in the concept which require more explanation, like the ‘black light’ feature. This particular attribute is not to be engaged all the time. Its maximum utilization is during times of poor visibility (like dawn or dusk), when it can be used to improve visibility especially that of road markings. The ‘Pure Blue’ system greatly enhances the comfort level of the four occupants that can sit inside by purifying air in the cabin. When the vehicle is stationery, this system emits bactericides and fungicides to clean the inside air. Once the car is on the move, an active filter treats the air coming in by eliminating Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and fine particles, thus giving the passengers a clean and healthy environment inside the cabin. The boot has a low loading lip and beneath the boot floor there is a Hybrid-kick Concept. It’s a foldable electric scooter that can be removed and used as last mile connectivity option, isn’t that great?
The Exalt Concept, though a worthy machine to be put in to production won’t be going on to the production lines soon. This is just an example of the design language that saloons from the French manufacturer in the future might look like. I must say, from what I see, the future seems bright.