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The Peugeot Onyx concept

Peugeot Onyx Concept

We’ve been talking a lot this week about various concepts that are going to be unveiled at the upcoming Paris Motor Show towards the end of September, and we’ll continue to do so today as well, because we’ll be taking a look at the Onyx concept car from French carmaker, Peugeot.

The car is said to be weighing at about 1,100 kilos and comes with a 680-hp diesel-hybrid engine…which is more than a little attention-grabbing.

The car’s interior will be made of carbon fiber – as most other concept cars’ interiors are – the passenger compartment will also feature aluminium arches as well as serious amount of shatter-proof glass, in an effort to both keep weight down but also safety up.

One more interesting and intriguing part of the Oxyx’s interior is that the entire interior is made from one compressed and stretched piece of felt. Not only will you not see any stitches but the felt is also fully recyclable.

Recyclable is a theme even in the dashboard and center console, they’re made from recycled newspaper. Extremely compressed newspapers create the look of wood with a marbled pattern. This ‘new wood’ as Peugeot calls it, also has a grain so as to further mimicking the look of natural wood, but there are also printed characters which you can still see if you inspect the ‘wood’ very closely. The center console also features an interesting feature; the fuel gauge is made of a blown-glass chamber with chiseled indicators allowing the occupants to monitor the fuel consumption. We do not know however if tapping the glass will give you a more accurate reading.

As for the exterior, both the fenders and the door are covered with copper sheets. Now copper and carbon fiber can easily be situated at two opposite ends of the spectrum as far as weight goes, but the idea behind the copper panels is so that the car can develop a patina over time – or at least that’s what Peugeot’s release says. It’s doubtful that the copper panels however, aren’t coated in some type of protection because copper patina is more like tarnish, and while there are certainly fans of that look, one may not want it on their car necessarily.

Considering the amount of horsepower that the engine is capable of developing, the Onyx needs a serious air supply, so the front intake is assisted by two additional roof-mounted intakes that will supply oxygen exclusively to the engine. The exterior’s drag coefficient is of just 0.30.

Going back to the engine for a bit, the 3.7-liter V8 diesel-hybrid HDi FAP engine is surely capable of generating the 680 horsepower, but it also needs support from the other parts of the car in order to use that raw power efficiently, so it is paired up with a six-speed sequential gearbox. We don’t have any information about the engine’s torque however what we can say is that those 80 horsepower will be generated via kinetic energy recovery, energy which will be stored in lithium-ion battery packs and then used during acceleration.

As you might tell from the specs, the Onyx has as much chance of seeing production as the Holden Volt has to becoming the top selling car in the US, but these motor shows are as much about the models that will see production in the following years, as much as they are about flights of fancy, so that designers and engineers can stretch their talents and skills. Sometimes pieces of concept cars will actually make it, in one form or another into future production models, whether it’s an exterior design concept like the front grille, or something related to the interior or drivetrain, their not exactly prototypes, but a mixture of ideas of what could be possible, if one wouldn’t have to worry about sales figures.

The Paris Motor Show – also known as the Mondial de l’Automobile – will start on the 27th of September and it occurs every two years, alternating with the motor show in Frankfurt. While it is used as a showcase for the latest production designs, automakers also use it to show off their latest concept vehicles, as well as green cars and of course supercars.

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