Peugeot Onyx Concept - 2012 Paris Auto Show
Making its grand entrance at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the Peugeot Onyx Concept has been characterized by its creators as drawing inspiration both from the world of high performance and the realm of sustainability. While strictly a one-off exercise, Peugeot execs say this mid-engine supercoupe provides "a glimpse of the theme of thinking with the future in mind."
The aggressively cast bodywork for the Peugeot Onyx Concept matches matte-black-painted carbon fiber with hand-formed and polished pure copper sheet that's used for the door skins and front fenders. Peugeot refers to the latter, which will form a natural patina over time, as being "alive." The windows and roof itself are are made of completely transparent PMMA (PolyMethyl MethAcrylate). Designed to optimize aerodynamic qualities, the bold front fascia of the Onyx Concept features a vertical grille and full LED headlamps. Its "double-bubble" roof treatment further facilitates air flow across an innovative movable rear spoiler designed to load the rear axle under braking. Adding interest to the car's equally sculpted tail section are LED lamps in a Peugeot-signature "tri-strake" configuration.
Developed using expertise from its motorsport and R&D groups, the underlying structure of the Onyx Concept features a full carbon fiber tub. Comprised of just 12 individual components, it boasts exceptional stiffness and rigidity and features a flat floor pan that helps develop ground-effects downforce at higher speeds. The innovative cabin "pod" is made from a single piece of compressed, stretched and purpose-contoured felt that is fully recyclable. Underlaid with foam padding where needed for occupant comfort, this comparatively lightweight mono-element piece supplants everything from the conventional bucket seats and center console foundation to soundproofing. The dash and console are constructed from a what Peugeot calls "Newspaper Wood." This fully recycled/recyclable commodity is created from old newsprint that's also reprocessed and pressure formed into "logs" that display their own type of unique grain structure when cut into shape - including actual printed type characters.
Beyond its felt-rimmed racing-style multifunction steering wheel, the Onyx Concept features a large LED head-up instrument display. In addition to the dual-zone air conditioning controls that feature an aluminum bar with a milled detail finish, the console carries a unique blown-glass fuel-level indicator. The roof panel carries a panel of aluminum toggle switches -- including the engine starting switch as well as a display screen that shows images from the car's rear view cameras, one in each outside mirror and a rear-looking panoramic unit.
Power for the Peugeot Onyx Concept is supplied by the automaker's hybrid HDi FAP turbodiesel/electric package. Culled from its 908 Protoype racer that won the Le Mans in 2009, it matches a 3.7-litre V8 turbodiesel engine mounted behind the passenger compartment that makes 600 horsepower which is sent to the rear wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission with an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. Incorporating Peugeot's "intelligent" HYbrid4 technology for regenerative braking, the motor can seamlessly add an extra 80 horsepower to the mix, which should endow the 2,200-pound Onyx Concept with blistering acceleration. The car's chassis design also bears the stamp of Peugeot's sporting set. Tuned for precision, balance and agility, it features 20-inch Michelin high-performance tires -- 275/30s up front and 345/30s in the rear -- matched with huger carbon fiber disc brakes for ultimate stopping power.