Peugeot seeks international appeal with Quartz concept

  • 10-Oct-2014 09:18 EDT
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Peugeot's Quartz concept is based on the PSA EMP2 platform powered by a high performance plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Peugeot exhibited two concepts at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, the Exalt, a development of the Onyx concept seen at the Paris show in 2012 and Quartz, a crossover concept based on the European C-segment PSA EMP2 platform, powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, producing a total of 500 hp (373 kW), developed by Peugeot Sport.

Quartz Design Manager Matthias Hossann says that the reason for combining a crossover with a high-performance powertrain was the need to design a concept with international appeal. Hossann spent five years working in PSA’s design studio in China and was inspired to create a mix of performance car and SUV by his experience of the Chinese market.

Inside the car, Basalt stone is used extensively on the center console as well as on the doors and around the headlamps. Hossann explained, “We were looking for a more iconic material and we found the lava stone.” The material is produced in volcanic eruptions and Peugeot claims that its properties are the same wherever it is found; so sourcing the material for target markets should not be difficult. Hossann says that the porous Basalt is both strong and light, so well suited to use on a car. “At Peugeot, we love to play with materials without processing them. The basalt is a good example. We just cut it but keep the material as it is. This is the kind of philosophy we would like to keep for the next generation.”

Hossann said that the exterior could be separated into three parts, “The low part is clearly inspired by the SUV, then the body which is inspired by more sensual shapes, and then the cabin which we call the black diamond because we try to inject some “edge” on the glass. We‘ve done this to make the silhouette easier to read, to control the light on the car.

“We made the cabin in a black transparent material because if you look at a classic car, you have the windshield, the roof, the rear window and the car looks like it is split into many parts. The idea with Quartz is to make something that looks really monolithic and really looks like a block.” As the roof section flows into the rear wings the glass roof is formed into two separate spoilers designed to improve the aerodynamics.

The Quartz is fitted with 23-in alloy wheels, which as Hossann pointed out could introduce weight issues, “So the idea was to create something with a thin structure...for such a large wheel.” These are fitted with composite flaps, which are designed to improve aerodynamic flow to help cool the brakes.

The body structure does not have a B-pillar and Peugeot has given the cars scissor doors, which are hinged high on the A-pillars and on the C-pillars for the rear. The vehicle uses a composite structure with bonded panels, and Peugeot claims reduced weight and high body stiffness, enabling the structure to function without a B-pillar.

For the interior, Peugeot claims to have produced the first digitally woven textile material to be used in a vehicle. The process is said to create large and complex components. The textile material is woven with polyester fiber produced from the plastic used to produce drinking water bottles. The material can be produced in thicknesses great enough to avoid the need for seat foam because the material is also compliant.

Power is provided by a 1.6-L turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine producing 270 hp (201 kW) and 330 N·m (243 lb·ft). The engine drives through a six-speed automatic transmission. An 85-kW electric motor also provides drive to the front wheels and draws on Peugeot’s experience with its Hybrid4 system that helps to smooth gear changes. A second 85-kW motor drives the rear wheels. Both electric motors provide regenerative charging.

Three drive modes are available: ZEV, Road, and Race modes. In ZEV mode, the Quartz has a 50-km (31-mi) all-electric range. Both gasoline engine and front electric motor work together in Road mode, while in Race mode, both electric motors and the gasoline engine are used. Limited slip differentials are fitted front and rear.

Air suspension is used with McPherson type struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. A camera-based system maintains ride height between 300 and 350 mm (11.8 and 13.8 in). The system is linked to a GPS navigation system to anticipate changes in gradient.

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