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Inception a glimpse into Peugeot’s future

Peugeot shows off its bold new styling direction with Inception concept at CES

10 Jan 2023

PEUGEOT has shown the world clues to its future styling direction at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week in the form of the exciting Inception concept.


Riding on parent company Stellantis’ new STLA Large architecture, the five-metre-long and 1.34-metre high sedan is essentially a life-sized styling exercise designed to showcase how future products from the French brand could look – and operate – including those in the smallest of vehicle categories from the middle of this decade.


The all-electric Inception features a 100kWh battery pack that Peugeot claims can provide a range of up to 800km and feeds dual motors (front and rear) to offer a system output of “up to 500kW”, accelerating the model to 100km/h in “less than three seconds”.


Its 800-volt battery technology means the Inception is also quick to charge, Peugeot saying 30km worth of charge can be added in a minute, and 150km in less than five minutes while energy consumption is rated at an efficient 12.5kWh/100km.


Of significance to the style-conscious French brand, Peugeot’s latest concept carries forward its “feline inspired” design cues – this time in a sharpened and futuristic manner – many of which debuted initially on the 2018 e-Legend concept (which itself was inspired by the 504 coupe from the early 1960s).


Extensive glazing (with hints of 1988 Peugeot Oxia about the plunging windscreen line), illuminated lion emblems, crisp geometric lines, cat claw LED lights and athletic surfaces combine to create a strong aesthetic.


In addition to showcasing the appearance of Peugeot models to come, the Inception previews technologies that will one day be taken for granted by the brand’s customers.


The concept’s doors feature a prominent Tech Bar that can display messages to passers-by, or to welcome the driver and their passengers to the cabin. The vehicle can recognise the driver upon approach and adjust to their preferred settings, including those for seating position, climate control, multimedia, driving mode, and more.


But it is inside the Inception concept that Peugeot’s design magic really pushes the limits. 


The latest i-Cockpit technology debuts as a system Peugeot calls Hypersquare, a rectangular steering wheel that not only controls the vehicle’s direction by wire, but also serves to interact with the vehicle’s complex operating system via digitised controls and a large central screen.


Peugeot says the technology showcased in Inception will make its way into production models by the end of the decade, the Smart Cockpit accepting gesture, touch and voice inputs to provide a suite of on-demand services.


Coupled with the retractable Halo Cluster situated atop the dash, the systems provide not only traditional information and guidance at a glance, but also an intuitive means of interacting with the Inception’s Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.


Once the vehicle is driving itself, occupants are free to enjoy the generous, armchair-like seats that adapt to individual body shapes for greater support and comfort; and given the low height of the dashboard – thanks to the removal of the central screen and instrument cluster – enjoy a better view out.


Audiophiles will also rejoice at the Inception’s Focal hi-fi system, which Peugeot says has been tailored to provide “even better audio sensations” by combining an amplifier with several sound bars plus 100mm coaxial loudspeakers located in the doors and the front of the cabin. There are also two subwoofers located in the floor.


Importantly, the choice of materials selected in the Inception’s construction speak to the premium space Peugeot seeks to occupy with its future models.


3D-printed surfaces adorn the model’s cabin, while raw galvanised and stainless steel as well as “metallic velvet” combine to provide the four-seat interior with the look and feel of a luxury hotel on 408-inspired Aerorim 20-inch alloy wheels.


“Customers have high expectations of the electric car,” explained Peugeot product director Jerome Micheron.


“Thanks to the new generation of our BEV-by-design platforms dedicated to electric vehicles, we will meet their expectations. We are going to surprise them with our future cars’ layout, we are going to simplify the driving gestures and reinvent the driving experience.


“These goals are now taking shape in the form of the Peugeot Inception concept; Peugeot’s transformation goes far beyond the sole ambition of becoming 100 per cent electric.


“The brand will allow you to take full advantage of all the new possibilities offered by electric technology and new software to live new and enriching experiences.”


Peugeot says that it will release five new BEV models over the next two years with the entire European range to be electric by the end of the decade.

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