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.
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.