6 spectacular Peugeot concept cars we shouldn't forget about
Did you know that Peugeot once built a car made of... copper?
Concept cars, by definition, are designed to shock and awe, and showcase what car makers can do. That's the reason why manufacturers often go crazy with their prototypes, giving them weird doors, massive engines and using unusual materials.
Peugeot has built more than its fair share of concept vehicles through the years, and I thought it'd be nice to put together a list of interesting concepts, starting with my personal favourite: the Oxia.
Peugeot Oxia (1988)
Named after a region of Mars, the Oxia was a wedge-shaped (sort of), mid-engined supercar equipped with a twin-turbo V6, sending 680 bhp to all four wheels. It was relatively compact (4.6 mt) but it was also wide (2.02 mt) and low (1.3 mt), with proportions that made it look striking and aggressive, without being OTT.
Peugeot was too conservative when it came to the top speed because they believed it would reach 187 mph but a Michelin test driver drove around the Nardo race track in Italy and hit 217 mph.
Peugeot Onyx (2012)
This is probably the best-looking Peugeot ever made, and possibly the most well-known concept car they've built. Unveiled at 2012 Paris Motor Show, the Onyx was made from carbon fibre and actual copper foils. The interior looks like it was carved from a single block of wood and that's because, in a way, that's exactly what happened. Peugeot used wood, wool felt and carbon for the cabin.
It was powered by the same diesel-hybrid powertrain that the 908 Le Mans prototype used, which consisted of a 3.7-litre HDi V8 and a small electric unit, for a combined power output of 680 hp. It was also a featherweight, tipping the scales at just 1,100 kg (2,400 lbs), which made it extremely quick. The top speed was 220 mph and 0-60 only took 2.9 seconds.
It aged gracefully, it still looks modern and beautiful ten years later, and Peugeot loved it so much that built a matching trike, a bicycle and... a sofa.
Peugeot RC (2002)
The RC was the concept that eventually (indirectly) inspired the RCZ, even though the RC was actually mid-engined and RWD. Peugeot built two different versions, called Spade (black) and Diamond (red) and powered by a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel engine respectively. Both were equipped with carbon-ceramic disc brakes and carbon fibre body components, and both only weighed 900 kg.
Many years later, in 2008, Peugeot built another RC concept. It was based on an evolution of the same platform but it had four doors, it was finished in a special silver/chrome hue and powered by a hybrid unit.
Peugeot Quasar (1984)
The Quasar was unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show and believe it or not it shared several components with the 205. Mind you, it's kinda hard to tell which components in particular because the car was made from kevlar and carbon and the engine - a 600-hp, twin-turbo 1,800cc I4 - was mounted in the middle.
It had no body panels at the rear, which means you could actually see the engine exposed, and a cabin that's openly inspired from science fiction movies at the time. I'm definitely getting Back To The Future vibes here.
Peugeot Instinct (2017)
The Instinct was revealed at the 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and it was outrageous while also being civilised. Unlike many concept cars, you could easily envision this beautiful shooting brake in traffic today and it would look normal. I mean it would look great, but normal. However, there are many things that aren't normal about this concept.
It has enormous suicide doors at the rear and an ultra-futuristic interior with a retractable steering wheel because it's a self-driving vehicle. Or you can you drive it yourself, using its 300-hp hybrid unit (AWD) and one of its two driving modes, 'Boost' and 'Relax'.
Peugeot 20CUP (2015)
Peugeot: "so here's our reserve trike based on the 207"
The 20CUP was indeed a reserve trike, also known as a 'tadpole-trike', made entirely out of carbon fibre. At the front, you have the face of the Peugeot 207 and a 1.6-litre turbocharged I4, and at the rear, you've got a motorcycle swingarm made by BMW.
Amazingly, they built more than one. Which one would you rather have, black or white?