we saw the French electric car of the future

Among the stars of this year’s CES in Las Vegas, a homegrown creation, the Peugeot Inception concept car. Beneath an openly futuristic appearance, it hides many hints about Peugeot’s electric cars of tomorrow. We got to see it up close and spoke to Peugeot boss Linda Jackson about it.

The truncated rear and the giant lights give a strong visual signature to the Peugeot concept. Although Peugeot has announced that it will not return to the US market, the French brand chose CES in Las Vegas over Mondial de l’Auto with its Inception concept. , announcing the new 100% electric generation coming to the brand and more broadly, the Stellantis group. A group that has 4 American brands: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM among its 14 brands, including two dedicated to mobility.

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares gave a keynote in the opening of the show where he shared his views on the future of the group, suggested the possible downsizing operations with electricity development and a potentially shrinking market due to the average purchase cost that is less accessible to the greatest number, and provided details to future generations that will contribute to the ambition to be the first in the sector to become carbon neutral by 2038.

A mobility tech player with the size of a large group and the spirit of a start-up: this is the definition of Stellantis by its boss, that’s all! C. Tavares confirmed collaboration with Foxconn, Amazon and Qualcomm for its future vehicles.

Solid battery, finally

He also focuses on developments in battery technologies, including a collaboration with Factorial for reducing the use of cobalt. Aim 2026 with the long-awaited arrival of the solid electrolyte battery that promises 30% more energy density (50% for the next generation) and up to 800 km of autonomy.

This is exactly what is indicated in the technical sheet of the Peugeot Inception concept, the head of Stellantis’ gondola at CES, with its 680 hp. Hence the brand frenchy did he succeed in drawing all eyes to a particularly spectacular show car, a true manifesto of Peugeot’s future. Based on the XL version of the new 100% electric STLA platform, it aims to unleash the full potential of this new generation.

An American-sized electric car

At the Stellantis stand, while the public rushed to discover the wonderful Inception in American measurements (5 m long), we met Linda Jackson, General Manager of the Peugeot brand. The Englishwoman spent her entire career in cars before taking control of Citroën, then Peugeot for a year. We chose to build such a large car because it was the best way to incorporate all the technology we wanted to showcase.”, he explained. We wantISo introduce the lines liveangleIris but without overdoing it, adds fluidity. Future models will incorporate design elements from the concept. Allure is the new word to sum up the brand.”

By detailing the French concept car, we feel a first impression of aggressiveness especially because of its ugly front end with its very inclined grille, backlit and with only appearance, its vertical claws. The softness of the side lines and the surface treatments calm things down and the overall look of the car, close to a coupe, is so fluid, you forget it’s a four-door sedan .

Large glazed surfaces treated like the foam of an astronaut’s helmet have fascinating reflections, while the bottom of the doors is covered with a line of screens that display information such as charge level or autonomous driving : both sensible and spectacular, well seen.

A futuristic lounge

The ultra-plunging windscreen, almost at the front of the car, gives a wide view of its cockpit. Undoubtedly, the round cockpit display in white LEDs, as if placed on the dashboard, attracts attention, but lacks precision for us to see the functions, supposed or real on stage. The onboard system called STLA Brain will be regularly updated remotely, similar to smartphone OS updates on a regular basis.

Open antagonistic doors free the cabin and allow to better see the organization of the cockpit. In the shape of the steering wheel, the Hypersquare as Peugeot calls it is rectangular, with 4 holes that are all touch controls for vehicle functions.We wanted to maintain the driving pleasure created with i-Cockpit and that thought led to Hypersquare, which operates the wheels bywire. We did a lot of testing, cis like a console experience for our younger customers,” explained L. Jackson. Which reminds us of Tesla’s yoke.

Spacious and clear, very modern and at the same time very cool with its raw materials (notably galvanized sheet metal), the actual living room that serves as a cabin is reminiscent of the world of furniture design. A space-permitted luxury cleared by a true electrical architecture. Car seats that look like sofas? We were not allowed to sit there, too bad, because they looked very welcoming.

Towards production vehicles

So, what to remember from this show-car that pushes the line? Revised ergonomics should find their way into production, with fully electronic steering allowing more limited movement of the rectangular “steering wheel”. Controls (headlights, wipers, sound, infotainment, etc.) in Hypersquare’s touch cavities also have the opportunity to become a new way of interacting with your vehicle, replacing steering wheel buttons and controls stalk. classic.

The design will also take the direction of what this concept shows, with a more striking style than today, just to stand out from the abundance of brands that we will see coming out in the coming years, especially the more compact ones. category. , comfort zone of the Lion brand. See you around 2025 to see the result on the road.

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