Peugeot Concepts wow
With 210 years of history, concept cars fuel PEUGEOT’s DNA. The first real exercise in style assimilated to a concept car was born in 1984: the PEUGEOT Quasar. As a real technological showcase, it was the first time that engineers and designers were given carte blanche to create a fantastical object outside of any industrial constraints. Gérard Welter designed the bodywork based on a sketch by Eric Berthet. He was one of the pillars of the PEUGEOT 205’s style and became the brand’s Design Director from 1998 to 2007. The interior, futuristic for the time, was designed by Paul Bracq. The base of the chassis is derived from a legendary 205 Turbo 16, as is its engine, which for the occasion was pushed to 600 horsepower. The following concept cars always maintained a link with the motor racing so dear to Gérard Welter. Presented among others at the Goodwood “Festival of Speed”, the PEUGEOT Proxima was be powered by a 680 hp bi-turbo V6 engine. With a similar engine, the PEUGEOT Oxya will be timed at 350 km/h on the Nardo speed ring in 1988.
In 2010, the SR1 concept inaugurates a new era in PEUGEOT design, with the appointment of Gilles Vidal.
In 2012, the PEUGEOT Onyx would be the brand’s first Style manifesto, exploring raw materials, such as copper, or the new position of the emblem in the centre of the grille. The Onyx line will also be the first full mobility statement with the bike and scooter concepts.
Other stylistic explorations will be real brand manifestos with the 308 R HYBRID or 508 PEUGEOT Sport Engineered concepts developed with the PEUGEOT Sport entity. The latter was the basis of a production car as was the case for the 306 hunting estate for the Phase 2 in 1999, the 20 for the 206 CC or the PEUGEOT RCZ Concept for the coupé of the same name.
GENESIS OF A CONCEPT-CAR
At the beginning of the search for inspiration, designers are looking for signals of emerging trends in a wide variety of fields, such as: architecture, fashion, the arts or new mobility. The aim is to detect new expectations, new requirements in other fields, to get out of the automotive world, to detect new societal trends, all to benefit our future customers. This applies to exterior or interior design but also to research in colours and materials or graphics.
Once the specifications have been established (or a so-called mood board), the PEUGEOT Design Department launches a competition between all the designers. Some would work day and night to try and win the prestigious competition. Once the shortlist is set, digital models are made and scale 1 models are milled to see the volumes and the general balance of the object. After long hours of deliberation and approval at the highest echelons of the brand, the project that best meets the initial specifications is selected. A 3D digitisation and CAD phase follows, to design a very precise digital model. A new, more detailed 1:1 scale model is then milled. This model will be used to refine the details, adjustments, surfaces and to define the final colour of the concept. The process is the same for the interior.
The project will then be entrusted to leading companies in modelling, mock-up and the production of unique pieces. They are the only ones able to meet the slightest wish or requirement of a designer.
One of the major challenges in the construction of a concept car is the time constraint. It is very often designed for a large event, such as a trade fair to take pride of place on a stand, and therefore cannot be delivered late. In less than a year, you have to go from stylish sketches to a finished, functional object. The new digital tools, such as virtual reality helmets or the C.A.V.E (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment), make the design part much easier today, but attention to detail and refinement are only possible on physical objects.
Concept cars are also an opportunity to form partnerships with SMEs or craftsmen who are the most advanced in their field. For EXALT, a custom-made fragrance has been created to perfect the experience right down to the sense of smell with EX-NIHILO perfumers. For e-LEGEND, the interior woodwork in paldao essence has been shaped by the cabinet maker HERVET Manufacturier. Partnerships are also established with international leaders, as was the case with SAMSUNG for INSTINCT or with FOCAL for Foodtruck and FRACTAL.