This is the Peugeot Quartz Concept; a four-wheel-drive hybrid crossover with more horsepower than a BMW M3 which debuted at the Paris Motor Show. The Peugeot Quartz Concept uses a plug-in hybrid drive train comprising a petrol engine supplemented by two electric motors. The engine bay houses the 1.6-litre THP 270 power plant developed by Peugeot Sport. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the four-cylinder engine delivers torque of 330Nm, with a specific output of nearly 170hp per liter.
“Peugeot’s style strength lies in its prowess in tackling a saloon or hatchback just as effectively as a crossover to create the kind of stylish car that people would really love to own,” says Gilles Vidal, Peugeot Design Director.
The front axle is also driven by an 85kW electric motor with direct drive. This charges the 400V battery during deceleration and assists the combustion engine with gear changes. The rear axle also features an 85kW electric motor for propulsion and battery charging.
There are three driving modes: ZEV can cover up to 31 miles on a single battery charge using the plug-in battery; Road mode uses the combustion engine and front electric motor to enhance driving pleasure and maximize battery charging during deceleration; Race mode harnesses the power of the engine and both electric motors to get the most out of the chassis with a limited-slip differential for increased driver engagement.
The front axle of the QUARTZ employs bespoke MacPherson struts. On the rear there’s a multi-arm suspension arrangement including the on-board electric motor. The pneumatic suspension automatically adjusts ground clearance between 300 and 350mm. This is controlled by an optical system that uses cameras linked to the satellite navigation to read the road and anticipate changes in its surface.
The Quartz’s interior is supposed to be reminiscent of the slightly porous texture of basalt rock, with a driver-focused, wrap-around cockpit. Much of it is covered in a “digitally woven” textile from recycled plastic bottles; the new technique allows the company to create large, complex patters with no cutting required, which means less waste.
With its long hood and sloping roof, the Quartz looks like a sports coupe on steroids. Its 23-inch wheels have composite flaps to direct airflow, while up front the concept is all business with a mesh grille and arching LED headlights. The subtle louvers hidden in the sides of the hood-bulge are an especially neat styling trick. Moving back from there, the red accents on the flanks actually disguise extending steps into the cabin.
“This is a message to the world. We won’t walk away from cars like this.” says Peugeot’s director of product and strategy Xavier Peugeot. This is something we certainly agree with Xavier on, you don’t forget about the Quartz any time soon.
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