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Paris show: Peugeot's V8 diesel hybrid Onyx

Ready to pounce: Typically feline Peugeot design moves a step further with the Onyx supercar concept that weighs just 1100kg but has a diesel hybrid drivetrain generating a whopping 507kW.

Peugeot reveals more images, details of V8 diesel-electric Onyx concept for Paris


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13 Sep 2012

PEUGEOT has revealed the Onyx supercar concept it teased earlier this week will pack a mid-mounted 3.7-litre V8 diesel engine sending 447kW to the rear wheels, while an electric motor sends a further 60kW to the front axle to provide all-wheel drive.

Drawing from Peugeot’s motorsport experience and weighing just 1100kg, the carbon-fibre and copper-panelled Onyx has the ingredients to deliver exceptional performance and handling while returning low fuel consumption.

Being diesel, the Onyx is potentially more efficient than Porsche’s hybrid 918 supercar, which consumes about 3.0 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres from its hybrid petrol-electric powertrain.

The Porsche has a petrol V8 and two electric motors that produce a combined 574kW and blast the 918 from zero to 100km/h in less than three seconds.

The exterior panels of the Onyx are made from a combination of mirror-polished copper and carbon-fibre painted matte black.

The roof and windows are fashioned from lightweight transparent thermoplastic called polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

Peugeot has referenced the RCZ coupe’s double-bubble roof design and one-piece aluminium roof arches with the Onyx, which rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, behind which are carbon disc brakes and double-wishbone suspension with race-style inboard springs and dampers.

The brakes are assisted by a movable rear wing that “loads the rear axle during braking” like the air brakes of the Bugatti Veyron and McLaren 12C.

For all the high-tech exterior construction materials, the Onyx uses recycled newspaper in the dashboard construction and wool-based felt interior trim.

The carbon-fibre cockpit ‘tub’ is shaped to incorporate the seats, centre console, floor and roof into a single, flowing form and the compressed, stretched felt forms a seamless coating.

Peugeot says the felt combines soundproofing, thermal insulation and dehumidifying qualities and is underlaid with foam for contact points such as the integrated seats that have air vents.

The exposed ‘newspaper wood’ surfaces of the dashboard have a finish resembling a combination of woodgrain and marble that on closer inspection reveals traces of original print from the compressed and moulded newspapers that went into it.

Atop the centre console is a large piece of crystal glass with etched outer markings that represent the fuel gauge, while an inner chamber contains fragrance for the air freshening system that releases the “essence of the materials used” into the cabin.

On each side of the glass centrepiece are machined aluminium ventilation control pods that also function as hand grips.

Facing the driver is a digital instrument display and a rectangular, felt-rimmed carbon-fibre steering wheel housing a small display screen plus indicator, light and audio controls, while the ceiling has a bank of toggle switches and a set of displays with images from the rear-vision cameras.

Peugeot interior designer Julien Cueff said the Onyx interior was inspired by an egg box.

“With a remarkable economy of material, it is perfectly designed through ergonomics and structure to protect its fragile contents. We adapted the concept into an intuitive space with minimum componentry, but where every function fit perfectly to the hand.”

The Onyx will take pride of place on Peugeot’s Paris motor show stand on September 27, flanked by a high-performance three-wheeled hybrid Onyx Scooter concept and an aerodynamically-designed carbon-fibre time trial bicycle, the Onyx Concept Bike.

Both share the Onyx supercar’s matte black and copper colour scheme.

Combining a 400cc petrol engine with an electric motor to produce 45kW and 58Nm, the Onyx Scooter can zip to 150km/h and its regenerative braking system charges the Li-ion batteries, which provide an electric-only range of 30km at speeds of up to 50km/h/Claimed fuel consumption is 2.0 litres per 100 kilometres, resulting in a total range of 500 kilometres.

The Onyx Scooter offers motorcycle-like Sport and scooter-like Urban riding positions that Peugeot says make it suitable for both long country rides and round-town journeys.

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