Concept shows new design direction; could make production in modified form
Steve Cropley Autocar
2 March 2010

This is the Peugeot SR1, a handsome hybrid three-seat roadster concept which showcases a new set of styling ideals to be used on all future Peugeots. It has been revealed at the Geneva motor show.

Although the car is officially described as a concept whose format was deliberately chosen to keep it clear of Peugeot’s existing line-up, group design director Jean-Pierre Ploue hints that the Peugeot SR1 could eventually be seen in showrooms itself.

Peugeot SR1 concept car pictured

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The project is part of a broad-based move by PSA bosses to sharpen Peugeot’s brand image during 2010, its 200th year as an industrial entity.

It brings a welcome end to the 'wide mouth' era of recent Peugeot design, notably used on the best-selling 207 supermini, in favour of a much more elegant, technical look. Ploue also hints that the first production Peugeot with the new look will be the 207’s replacement, due next year.

The SR1 is a generously proportioned soft-top roadster, whose 4.4-metre length, 1.8-metre width and 2.6-metre wheelbase make it almost identical in size to the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. However, the SR1 features a single, central rear seat, and its power unit is a 240bhp, four-cylinder, downsized petrol turbo engine (Peugeot won’t reveal how small) mounted transversely in the nose to drive the front wheels through a twin-clutch paddle-shift transmission.

An electrically driven rear axle, capable of propelling the SR1 “for a few kilometres”, adds around 80bhp, giving the car the high performance of a genuine GT. Peugeot insiders describe the SR1 as a downsized performance car, capable of an impressively low CO2 output of 109g/km.

The SR1 bristles with neat and thoughtful design details, including an opulent, three-wood sculpted cockpit surround, carbonfibre outer panels whose weave is visible in places and blends into a coloured surface in others, instruments that include a range display and a 'driving efficiency' indicator, a dash clock which is actually a removable Bell & Ross watch, and a three-dimensional speedo whose readout 'grows' away from you as you accelerate.

But it’s SR1’s proportions and major exterior design features that really matter for the future, Ploue says: the precise shape and restrained size of the countersunk grille, the graceful proportions, the new sense of lightness of the car’s flanks, and the more sharply defined and simpler surfaces. These things, he promises, will be seen on tomorrow’s Peugeots.

The SR1's unveiling follows hard on the heels of a series of changes to PSA’s design management hierarchy.

Ploue, who impressed PSA group bosses by finding a new direction for the problematic Citroen brand, has been promoted to head of all PSA design, with Thierry Metroz, 46, replacing him at Citroen. The new Peugeot design boss is 36-year-old Gilles Vidal.

The new order doesn’t believe Peugeot needs the complete overhaul Citroen did, but that the current look has definitely progressed as far as it can go.

“We decided Peugeot needed an aesthetic car,” says Vidal, “ to show off its new trends and philosophies. Peugeot’s future will be about elegance and precision, so we thought it right to illustrate these things by making a classical GT car."

Steve Cropley

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Comments
24

8 January 2010

This is absolutely stunning! i hope a car similar or even this one hits the showrooms! it just shows Peugeot is capable of making beautiful cars

8 January 2010

Did Peugeot ask Aston Martin if they could use their design team? Looks Fantastic anyhow! GT Supercar looks with a Peugeot Price Tag! Please Peugeot Build it!!!

8 January 2010

ITS AN ASTON MARTIN

8 January 2010

There are quite a few hints of Aston & Jag here and there, nonetheless the end result is beautiful. It looks like a evolution of the old Peugeot coupe (the 406 not the present gen monstrosity)

8 January 2010

Bit of Pininfarina Ferraris about the front end... 250GTE and 612 Scaglietti spring to mind. Side? Bits of Aston V8 Vantage, Lexus LFA, and whatever that daft double-bubble TT-rivalling coupé thing they're just putting into production is. Still, a three-seater layout? No thanks. Hybrid? No thanks. Front-wheel-drive? Sorry, Peugeot, I'm just not interested, especially not in a supposedly sporty coupé.

8 January 2010

Looks like they've reinvented the quartic steering wheel too.

8 January 2010

At last they have desisted from shoving a large lump of black plastic in the middle of the front grille. That made earlier and some current Peugeots look like they had buried themselves in the tyre wall at the Top Gear test track a la Koenigsegggg...

8 January 2010

Possibly the 1.6 turbo tuned to 240bhp? surely can't be a bigger engine or it wouldnt get 109g/km.

8 January 2010

I agree that Aston will assume that there is another Chinese design team at work here. The seats look almost identical. If you took the badge off you wouldn't know what it was, apart from the love child of a Aston V8 and the Toybaru coupe. Honestly, this is pretty poor, though I do admit that it is pretty, a Peugeot it certainly aint. By the time it got to production it would look very mundane on its smaller wheels and NCAP safety comliant bonnet lines etc. At which point it wouldn't look as good as either of the cars I mentioned previously...

8 January 2010

Credit where credits due - that car is stunning!! I particularly like the grille treatment and the rear lights - not that they're production intent I am sure but great idea nonetheless.

Lovely proportions to the overall car great job!

It does have a Aston/Jag rightness about it too - no bad thing.

Well done to the design team - finally is this a return to good Peugeot design? - I hope so, I can't stand the giant black slug attached to the front of most current Peugeots - they remind me of Baldricks moustache!

In fact some of the current designs are nearly as bad as the 304 estate I had to learn to drive on - hideous car! :0)

Change for the better - keep it up - at least by about 2011/2 we should start seeing this new breed on the road.

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