PEUGEOT e-LEGEND CONCEPT, a perfect balance of autonomy and electric powertrain
Peugeot is one of the oldest car companies in the world, which over the years has come up with many big sellers, few which have not been big seller and some niche models. This perhaps makes Peugeot one of the most important, controversial and intriguing car companies, in the world.
It seems, Peugeot is ready to embrace the future, and they have chosen Paris Motor-show to make its public debut in OCT and show case a 100% autonomous, electric and connected vehicle called the e-LEGEND CONCEPT. Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of PEUGEOT, said: “PEUGEOT e-LEGEND CONCEPT is not just a technological manifesto. This is the vision of a brand actively focused on an optimistic and ultra-desirable future. For PEUGEOT, autonomy and electric are synonymous with even stronger sensations. Boredom will never be part of our DNA.”
However, it seems that the word “Autonomous” has a slightly different meaning to the crazy people at Peugeot, since e-LEGEND CONCEPT offers four modes of driving – two autonomous and two manual – which can be selected depending on the road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver’s preference.
The “SOFT” Autonomous mode will primarily focus on the comfort of the vehicle’s occupants, and the “SHARP” mode will enable maximum connectivity to digital services, engage on social networks, ordering take away food, arranging meetings, organisations of home/work calendars are just some examples what is on offering. Irrespective of autonomous mode, there is a change to the interior configuration, with the steering wheel retracting under the soundbar in order to make the 49-inch central screen fully visible. The front seats recline for extra comfort and the side armrests deploy automatically, freeing up a large storage area and an induction charging area for smartphones and other devices.
Go manual and you are presented to choose from “LEGEND” mode, with cruising mode and a dashboard reflective of the iconic 504 Coupé’s, or “BOOST”, if you really want to treat yourself and according to Peugeot press office, stimulate your driving experience. Aude Brille, Head of PEUGEOT Strategy, said: “With PEUGEOT e-LEGEND CONCEPT, for us it’s about intensifying and refining the experience of 100% autonomy, electric and connectivity. The Responsive i- Cockpit® is enhanced to offer its guests immersive driving specifically customised for each of the four driving modes available.”
To further enhance the capability of e-LEGEND CONCEPT, Peugeot in partnership with SOUNDHOUND Inc.®, will offer a voice-activated personal assistant, enabling the driver to change driving style of the car, listen to music or even open and close the electrified doors. Using the digitised voice of PEUGEOT Style Director, Gilles Vidal, the system works in 17 different languages – a version of this will be available in PEUGEOT production vehicles within two years.
FOCAL®, PEUGEOT’s existing audio partner, has been tasked to redesign and optimise the sound infrastructure and create an optimal sound architecture for driver and passengers. This allows, for example, the driver to input navigation voice commands while the other occupants of the car listen to music, or places each individual occupant in their own ‘sound bubble’, meaning they can each listen to different things without affecting the others.
The PEUGEOT e-LEGEND CONCEPT is powered by a 100% electric powertrain featuring twin motors – located on each axle, that produce 456bhp and 590lb ft, distributed to the four-wheel drive system. This means the e-LEGEND should easily makes it possible to travel 0-100 km/h in less than 4s and reach a maximum speed of 220Km/h. It features 100kWh of battery capacity, located under the floors with the range of around 600 km according to the WLTP protocol, of which 500 km are accessible in 25 minutes thanks to a fast recharge.
It sounds too good to be true?
Well, yes it is, but this is a concept car after all and a dream which might never hit our roads anytime soon, and Peugeot 100% autonomy, really is a level 3 or 4 – autonomy at best, where human interaction is still an option and human driver can take control of the vehicle if the need arises.
So we shouldn’t really hold Peugeot responsible if they fail to deliver.