Published September 28, 2012
By Jeff Cobb
Skinned with hand-formed copper and carbon fiber, Peugeot’s Onyx 680-horsepower diesel hybrid is on display in Paris.
The 2,425-pound car is not slated for production, but is presented as a compelling vision showing how far from everyday sensible a hybrid can be – while still being quite sensible and sustainable in other respects.
It's all-wheel drive, and the Onyx rotates the rear wheels via a 600-horsepower 3.7-liter V8 turbodiesel through a 6-speed sequential gearbox. It also merges that considerable propulsion with 80 electric horsepower sent to the front wheels powered by a lithium-ion battery.
A kinetic energy recovery system called HYbrid4 replenishes the juice via electricity generated under deceleration.
Despite Peugeot’s weakened financial position, it says it brought the car to life in part to show what its engineers can nonetheless do.
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As a further example of their eco-innovation, the interior is made of one-piece wool felt, compressed and stretched into a one-piece pod.
No stitching or joining techniques were used for the felt covering seats, parts of the dashboard, floors, and in place of soundproofing.
Another nod to the ecologically minded are recycled newspapers made into elements of the dashboard. The material is formed into a kind of wood, and Peugeot says you can also see some of the original newsprint if you look closely enough.
Perhaps these ideas will find their way into Peugeots people can actually buy. As is the norm with over-the-top concepts, that too, is part of the intent.