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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
heres a solid reason to root for peugeots return

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]

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2 of 35 comments
  • 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.

  • Keith Maybe my market's different. but 4.5k whack. Plus mods like his are just donations for the next owner. I'd consider driving it as a fun but practical yet disposable work/airport car if it was priced right. Some VAG's (yep, even Audis) are capable, long lasting reliable cars despite what the haters preach. I can't lie I've done the same as this guy: I had a decently clean 4 Runner V8 with about the same miles- I put it up for sale around the same price as the lower mile examples. I heard crickets chirp until I dropped the price. Folks just don't want NYC cab miles.
  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.