Peugeot puts best foot forward with "prospective concept"

  • 27-Sep-2011 07:50 EDT
Peugeot8-11 HX 1   c.jpg

Reverse opening half-scissor doors is how Peugeot describes the closures of its HX1 concept.

Automakers come up with differing terminology for their motorshow concepts. “Design study”, “technical concept” and “technology demonstrator” are not uncommon, but for its HX1, Peugeot chose “prospective concept” for its Frankfurt Motor Show example.

It is designed to help envisage the company's future solutions in vehicle architecture, aerodynamics, modularity, equipment, interior materials, power units, and the environment. All this is bundled to form a theme dubbed “metamorphosis,” which means giving the vehicle—and one unusual optional extra—the capability to adapt itself to the environment.

The HX1 has an MPV architecture, but it is low at 1373 mm (54.1 in), with overall width of 1990 mm (78.3 in) and length of 4954 mm (195.0 in). It has four reverse-opening half-scissor doors. A 4/6-seater, it can incorporate two regular seats front and rear plus a further two retractable in the center row, a configuration similar to that first seen on Peugeot’s HR1 concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show. A center console incorporates a coffee bar and minibar and is decorated by white, hand-milled Carrara marble.

Attention to aerodynamic efficiency includes the seven spokes of each wheel, which pivot to create a flat disc surface as a rear spoiler and two sideskirts deploy at speeds above 100 km/h (62 mph). Its Cd figure is 0.28, low for an MPV-type vehicle albeit one that is low and fairly long.

Interior trim includes the use of natural oak with inlaid fiber optics, brushed metal and leather, LED spotlights, and strips backlit by natural lighting. A multi-functional screen provides need-to-know information depending on the prevailing travel mode and ambient conditions.

The concept’s powertrain centers on Peugeot’s new production diesel-hybrid, now fitted to the 3008 Hybrid4 production model. It will also be fitted to the Peugeot 508 RXH next year.

The 2.2-L 152-kW (204-hp) diesel engine drives through a six-speed gearbox positioned at the front, with a 70-kW electric motor in the rear, a combination which gives a 4x4 capability in extreme conditions and combined output of 222 kW (298 hp). The HX1 also has plug-in technology, its lithium-ion batteries rechargeable from a domestic electric socket.

Peugeot is claiming a pure-electric-mode range of 30 km (19 mi), a combined fuel consumption of 3.2 L/100 km, and CO2 emissions of 83 g/km.

And then there is that highly unusual optional extra. Peugeot  designers worked with fashion footwear designer Pierre Hardy to create shoes using materials and technology that echo the interior of the vehicle and having metamorphosing capability from slipper to “high-heel structure.”

It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “heel and toeing,” used by enthusiast drivers of manual gearbox cars, simultaneously braking and blipping the throttle pedal with the right foot.

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