Here's a Solid Reason to Root for Peugeot's Return

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Damn, you’re thinking. If I could get my hands on that. Just think — Italian leather shoes, a sport coat, people wrenching their necks as you drive past, Papa Was a Rolling Stone oozing from the stereo…

Okay, this fantasy has gone too far. The vehicle you see above is Peugeot’s e-Legend Concept, a vehicle that wins the “glimpse of the future” contest hands down. This is the kind of all-electric, all-wheel drive, partially autonomous vehicle we like looking at.

Debuting at the Paris Motor Show, the e-Legend patterns itself after the classic 504 coupe, a slinky model that rolled off the Peugeot line from 1969 to 1983. Sexy? Is the Pope Catholic? To hammer home the vehicle’s allure, Peugeot filled its media folder with images of smouldering woman in, around, and nowhere near the e-Legend Concept. It’s like a Depeche Mode video from 1987. These ladies can’t get enough of the retro ride, and we don’t blame them.

Suffice it to say, Peugeot and its parent company, PSA Groupe, clearly noticed a distinct lack of passion and sex appeal in today’s brain-meltingly dull AV/EV concepts. Leave it to the French…

Adopting the tagline “ the Future,” Peugeot describes how the concept combines heritage and future into a palatable package that’ll never get built, at least not in its present form. Still, it did succeed in crafting, “A real object of desire that promotes the freedom of movement and offers the choice between a never-ending choice of pleasures.”

The steam rising from your phone or computer is perfectly normal. Is it getting warm in here?

Despite the retro sheet metal, there’s no shortage of concept car fantasy here. Two autonomous modes allow occupants to play a video game or relax while watching a Roger Vadim film on the 49-inch video screen spanning much of the dash. The steering wheel retracts beneath the dash to free up space. If hands-on motoring stirs your pot, the vehicle’s 100 kWh battery pack offers plenty of juice for ballsy romps down to the Mediterranean coastline. Zero to 62 mph flies by in less than 4 seconds.

Or it would, were this a real vehicle you could actually buy. The automaker claims a range of 373 miles on the generous WLTP cycle, while pure, raw power comes by way of an “engine” (interesting name for an electric motor, or motors) capable of generating 456 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. This capability will surely make its way to some sort of production vehicle.

Because this vehicle just can’t leave sex in the rear-view, the interior sports plenty of velvet (“Chosen in the noblest of uses for its silky and pleasant touch”), woven with a technical mesh. Exotic wood with dark veins brings to mind fine French cars of the 1960s, Peugeot claimed, possibly while lying on a couch. If you’re not sure this is enough to pull off the right mood, rest assured that PSA commissioned two perfumes for the interior fragrance diffuser.

Still not feeling it? Don’t worry, the automaker also added loads of “digital trim” to fill gaps throughout the cabin, promising an “immersive and warm sensation” from the simulated woodgrain. It then stubbed out its cigarette and undid another button on its crisp, white shirt.

Yes, these concept car trappings won’t become a production reality anytime soon, and the thin pillars aren’t going to get a pass from any regulatory body, but kudos to Peugeot for building an electric vehicle with autonomous features the car-loving public can actually salivate over. We don’t soulless want pods or eggs.

[Images: PSA Group]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Stanczyk Stanczyk on Sep 23, 2018

    yeah.. it looks quite "Mustang-ish" .. Ford could take that as an example .. with next Mustang generation .. :) It also reminds me of Nissan IDx concept cars .. These shapes/proportions are very atractive for a car-guys.. ... This concept doesn't remind any actual or past Peugeot cars .. French automakers are well known for building fantastic concept cars... but they never hit production..

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Oct 04, 2018

    I see echoes of Avanti in this.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.