Peugeot is celebrating its bicentenary with a stunning concept car to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March.
The SR1 concept car kicks off Peugeot's 200th anniversary celebrations by showing the company's new brand identity and showcasing a new design language for its future cars.
Drop-top hybrid concept car
Peugeot's SR1 is a 407-sized convertible with a folding canvas roof, a two-plus-one seating arrangement and a hybrid powertrain that delivers more than 300bhp yet keeps emissions below 120g/km.
The hybrid system combines a front-mounted 218bhp 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine with a 95bhp electric motor located at the rear of the car.
Either drive system can power the car independently, or the two can operate in tandem, so that all four wheels are driven under maximum acceleration. All four wheels are steered, too.
For low-speed running on electric power alone, the SR1 is a zero-emissions vehicle. In petrol or hybrid mode, CO2 emissions are 119g/km, with average fuel consumption of 57.7mpg.
Peugeot has pledged to offer a similar hybrid system in the 3008 crossover in 2011, but with a diesel rather than a petrol engine. It has also confirmed that it will develop a plug-in hybrid, rechargeable from the mains, with a greater electric-only range.
Points to future
The SR1 is the work of Peugeot's design director Gilles Vidal.
Although not intended for production it has a lightweight tubular skeleton, and carbonfibre bonnet and boot panels that would make the car too expensive to build it points the way to the look of future Peugeots.
A Peugeot source said: 'We're told it's not intended for production but is "a design manifesto".
'You can never say never, but would people be prepared to pay 50,000 or for it?'
Vintage becomes contemporary
The hood borrows technology used in racing yachts to tension the cloth and give the illusion that the car is a coupe.
Even the asymetric alloy wheels are different. Vidal says they reflect the shape of France on a map.
Vidal has tried to make the interior echo the great days of what he calls 'vintage motoring', while providing all mod cons. There are two seats in front and one behind, the rear seat being accessed by sliding the floor-mounted console forwards.
The console also acts as a docking station for a unique Bell&Ross wrist watch that has been designed to complement the car.
Peugeot's new lion is born
The SR1 also gives us a first look at Peugeot's new lion badge, now peeled away from the former blue background. It is part of a corporate update that also sees new 'Peugeot' script on all company literature. The RCZ roadster, due to be launched in the spring, will be the first road car to wear the restyled lion.
• Peugeot was founded in 1810 when two brothers bought a mill and turned it from producing flour into one turning out steel. They later moved into the production of cutting tools, then bicyles. The rest, as they say, is history.