New five-door luxury saloon concept features bare-metal styling and hybrid powertrain, will make its debut in Beijing next week

The Peugeot Exalt concept has been revealed ahead of its world debut at the Beijing motor show at the end of next week, and is shown here in our exclusive studio pictures.

Described as the French firm's "vision of the saloon", the Exalt follows on from the Onyx concept of 2012. The Exalt uses the same bare materials approach as the Onyx, and features wool-based fabric, leather, bare steel and ebony.  Its exposed steel bodywork is designed to echo historical models, and is hand-beaten into shape.

Parts of the concept are also covered in 'shark skin', a material which Peugeot says improves aerodynamic performance and fuel consumption.

Measuring 4.7-metres long, the five-door luxury saloon has a low roofline of 1.31-metres, with its sleek shape "concealing a cabin that is still spacious". The concept sits on 20-inch wheels, and weighs 1700kg.

Exterior features include a new black light system, which Peugeot says improves visibility during low light conditions, such as at dusk and dawn.

A plug-in hybrid, the Exalt uses the same 1.6-litre THP engine as the RCZ R, but the four-cylinder petrol engine’s 266bhp is supplemented by a 67bhp electric motor mounted on the multi-link rear axle. Peugeot's Hybrid4 system automatically selects which driving mode to use, choosing from pure electric, petrol only or petrol-electric hybrid options.

It is also built on a version of the EMP2 platform that underpins the next generation of PSA vehicles, including the 2013 Car of the Year winner, the Peugeot 308. According to Peugeot, the Exalt features "an intense driving experience dedicated to enjoyment"

Inside, a leather and wood-trimmed steering wheel features alongside a digital instrument cluster and two folding touch screens on the large centre console. The upper screen controls the main infotainment functions, while the lower screen offers climate control as well as access to Peugeot's Pure Blue air-filtration system. 

Piano-key inspired switchgear also features, arranged both to the left and right of the steering wheel. Passengers are seated in special bucket seats made from leather and wool-based fabric, while black ebony wood trim with a special design motif can also be seen.

Helping to mark the rebirth of Peugeot, it's no coincidence the French car maker has chosen to unveil the Exalt in Beijing. Asian buyers are traditionally more receptive to new ideas, and China's second largest manufacturer, Dongfeng, recently took a stake in PSA.

It's believed that Peugeot is planning something of an upmarket relaunch in the Chinese market, carving out new opportunities in the same vein as Citroën's DS line, which is seen as a separate brand in China.

Speaking to Autocar, Sophie Gazeu – colour and materials stylist for the concept – said the Exalt had taken 18 months to create, far longer than a traditional concept: "There is more than one way to do luxury. A top-end leather handbag that has aged is more highly prized than one that has come straight out of the shop. Wooden furniture that has marked through use is said to have character. 

"We hear a lot about authenticity, but what is authentic about a piece of wood that has 1000 layers of lacquer on it, or real leather that is treated so much that it looks like plastic, no matter for how many years you use it?"

Style director Gilles Vidal said: "The Onyx supercar concept was our guiding force.

“That set the design philosophy, and especially the principle of having an emotional relationship with a car that sets it apart, led by the use of materials. At this end of the market, you are not buying the car because you have to. You are buying it because you want to. The Exalt is very distinguishable as a modern Peugeot."

Read more Beijing motor show news.

Additional reporting by Jim Holder

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Comments
16

10 April 2014
Is the flux capacitor in the back or under the bonnet?

10 April 2014
Did they run out of paint...? Sales of these will soar....to about one. The French president will have to be seen in one and that'll be it.

10 April 2014
Never been a massive fan of Peugeot's styling and that hasn't changed in the slightest after seeing this garish monstrosity.

10 April 2014
I think the dash and centre console are interesting and that's basically it. I don't like the exterior styling at all

10 April 2014
They scoffed when the Panamera first appeared,this would be ok.

Peter Cavellini.

10 April 2014
Ignore the stupid interior and the headline-grabbing exposed steel body and the exterior styling isn't half bad.

10 April 2014
it is scaled down. Can hardly be a four-seater with a roof this low and only 4.70 meters long. If Peugeot wants to have this one taken seriously, preferably as a 508 successor, then it should increase its height by 12 cm and about the same in length, although I realize that a small engine does make its cab-forward layout possible. I like its clear lines. Makes BMW's look like pointless dribble.

10 April 2014
It's a bit of fun and fantasy which is what concepts are mainly about I s'pose. Although looking at the four door coupe profile & proportions, Tesla might feel they have already been there and are actually doing that right now with their luxury car you can actually buy.

10 April 2014
The comments with the pictures mention the tail lights reminiscent of the new Mustang, but one would hope it references the 504 cabriolet. Still, the styling of recent Peugeots has improved since Welter thankfully left.

10 April 2014
... and see the caption is wrong. There are four seats, you can count the headrests.

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