Dispatches Do Brasil: The 11th Hour

Marcelo de Vasconcellos
by Marcelo de Vasconcellos
dispatches do brasil the 11th hour

The Chinese will be the first to lay eyes on Peugeot’s beautiful new concept car, the Exalt, at the Beijing Auto Show that starts later in the month. Along with great artistic touches inside and out, it’s also a hybrid that can run on gasoline, pure electricity or both. The Exalt is a sedan that anticipates Peugeot’s take on the sedan as a coupe -and it’s another example of a dying brand throwing a “hail mary” pass in the form of an attractive concept car.

The Exalt measures in at just 185 inches long, though it weighs about 3,700 lbs. Its sheetmetal mimics hand-hammered steel plates that were common in luxury cars, most especially French ones, in the 20s and 30s of the last century. There’s also special cloth that supposedly feels like shark skin covering the car’s back haunches.

Inside, Peugeot’s mastery of the beautiful comes completely to the fore. The artful finishing is a mix of ebony, a wool based textile and carbon fiber. Digital screens take the place of the instruments. There’s also a clever system that purifies the air, even when the car is not running.

The car is motivated by Peugeot’s highly regarded 1.6 THP turbo engine, which produces 270 hp in this version. There’s also an electric motor in the back. Put together, the ensemble puffs up the power to 340 hp. Unfortunately, but perhaps in tune with the times, the car is a full 6 speed automatic.

If Peugeot can extend any of these ideas to their production cars, I for one could see them becoming desirable cars again. The brand is slowly clawing their way back with cars like the 208 and 308 – which just won Europe’s Car of the Year award. But just as Citroen has the Cactus, Peugeot needs something like the Exalt to put them back in the imaginations of car buyers.

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15 of 33 comments
  • CJinSD CJinSD on Apr 13, 2014

    It looks like a baboon in heat, which should appeal to other baboons.

    • See 3 previous
    • Marcelo de Vasconcellos Marcelo de Vasconcellos on Apr 14, 2014

      Such a subtle comment CJ, great wit. Sorry you can't appreciate anything, even if good, even if beautiful, if it doesn't come from where you think all that's good in the universe comes from. Anyway, I admire your consistency.

  • Beerboy12 Beerboy12 on Apr 14, 2014

    270hp out of a 1.6. Not bad. I am guessing that, given this motor is "highly regarded", it is reliable to. I'll bet that will infuriate the "French cars are Sh1t" crowd ;-)

    • See 8 previous
    • U mad scientist U mad scientist on Apr 14, 2014

      @CJinSD > They inspect cars and rank them relative to their peers based on calendar age JD Power does the same thing for their ratings and it's a trivially poor/wrong way to do the math since it tells prospective owners potentially nothing about the inherent reliability of the car. Regardless, if that's what everyone claims to do, then barring significantly different usage patterns the results should be similar, and the fact that there are far more german cars in the TUV claims than the others makes them suspect.

  • Ronin They all will back off, because the consumer demand is not there. Even now the market is being artificially propped up by gov subsidies.
  • Keith Some of us appreciate sharing these finds. Thank you. I always have liked these. It would a fun work car or just to bomb around in. Easy to keep running. Just get an ignition kill switch and you would have no worries leaving it somewhere. Those OEM size wheels and tires are comical. A Juke has bigger wheels!
  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?