Peugeot has a very busy stand at Paris this year. As well as a million look-alike hatches of various sizes, it also showcased its new 'Hy' hybrid technology in a big way - with not one but four new concepts.
So where do we start first?
Taking centre stage is definitely the Peugeot RC Hy Motion4 concept, an amazingly sleek four-wheel drive, four seater, four-door saloon. After showing some rather dodgy concepts over the last couple of years, this one definitely hit the nail on the head, and it looked stunning in matt silver. It also provides a solid design-style for future models, and you can expect certain cues to turn up on the next Peugeot 408 in a couple of years. Under the skin it has a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine mounted in the back, driving the rear wheels with 218bhp; and a 95bhp electric motor in the nose, driving the front wheels. It can drive with any combination of the two, giving it a maximum output of 313bhp through all four wheels, or zero emissions when driving the front wheels only through town. Best of all, the compact electric motor in the front means the stylists could give the car an really racy, almost Audi-R8-ish nose.
What else is happening?
The Hy technology is also shown in a three-wheeled tilting scooter concept (125cc engine driving the back wheel, electric power for the two front wheels); plus it appears on the Hy Prologue, a diesel-electric 'crossover concept' which is actually the forthcoming '3008' model - a front-wheel-drive, slightly bulbous looking 308 hatch with questionable 'off-roader' styling. Oh, and there's also the amazing weapons-grade 908 Hy hybrid Le Mans car (not racing yet, just a concept). And finally, something real - Peugeot unveiled its 308CC, to add to its already- successful folding-roof line-up. Expect that in the UK in Spring 09, for under 20k.
Peugeot's stand was always going to be busy on home turf, but the hybrid roll-out was impressive nevertheless. We just wish Peugeot would actually make something as sophisticated and dramatic looking as the RC Hy, instead of churning out dumpy looking hatches like the Prologue.
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