• Sep 21st 2010 at 3:57PM
  • 21
Peugeot EX1 concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Peugeot will soon be celebrating its 200th anniversary and, to help strike the proper tone, it has created an all-new electric sports car bearing the alphanumeric appellation EX1, which it will show at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Apparently, the French automaker decided to put all of its oh-la-la into the design rather than the name because this, friends, is electric sex on wheels.

Don't believe us? Run through the images in the gallery below that detail the machine's journey from design and building sculpting, through to the day when it was taken to the asphalt of the Aeroport Lleida Alguaire in Spain. The very last trio of images depict one blessed driver, French explorer and film-maker Nicolas Vanier, after taking the concept's virginity and breaking several FIA records for an electric-powered terrestrial vehicle. The look on his face says pure driving satisfaction as he walks away from the ride thanking God, the devil and, just maybe, Peugeot.

What makes the EX1 so special? Well, look at it! From the front, the sides, from above. Even from the rear (hey, it is French). Head on, you'll see design elements from the provocative SR1 concept, while the side is a high-tech portrait of power dedicated to forward motion. A bird's eye view reveals the aggressive stance of the front wheels and the carbon/honeycomb composite monocoque body tapering like a rain drop towards the trim narrowed rear. Hover there while the "suicide" doors open and you'll discover the near-horizontal seating swivel outward to invite any and all passersby to experience the thrust of 250 kilowatts (340 horsepower) from electric motors attached to each axle.

Excuse us while we go take a long cold shower. You go ahead and hit the jump for all the libidinous details in the official press release.

[Source: Peugeot]


The Peugeot EX1

The 100% electric Peugeot's latest concept car is a visually striking two-seater roadster with a futuristic styling and an original architecture, designed to offer intense driving sensations as a celebration of the Marque's 200th anniversary.

It's 100% real. The EX1 has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start. It owes its stunning performance to its streamlined aerodynamics, its ultra-light structure and its two electric motors, which give the car a cumulative maximum power of 250 kW (340 bhp) and four-wheel drive. As the preparations for the commercial launch of the iOn near completion, Peugeot demonstrates with the EX1 the exciting possibilities for electric power.

200 years of adventure

The powerful spirit of inventiveness is always present in Peugeot's design offices and helps create an unceasing flow of ideas. The most daring, interesting and exciting of these ideas sometimes come together, to give the body and soul to an extreme dream car.

With the desire to unveil a stunning creation to celebrate Peugeot's 200th anniversary, some of these exciting ideas quickly became associated with another ambition: that of highlighting the enormous possibilities offered by the use of electric power in the realm of creating new driving sensations. To this end, engineers and stylists explored the Marque's history to find the
most radical technical solutions to use as a basis to produce a futuristic performance car dedicated entirely to creating new driving sensations yet at the same time presenting responsible environmental credentials.

The original architecture is reminiscent of previous charismatic concept cars like the Asphalte and 20Cup, while also benefiting from all of the Marque's historical expertise in the field of electric vehicles. At a time when the electric motor once again becomes 100% real for Peugeot, with the i0n about to go on sale, the EX1 propels us into a new dimension of raw emotion.

Efficient styling

The pure styling of this two-seater roadster is in keeping with its mechanical design, like a kind of "exoskeleton" highlighting the light-weight nature that guided the vehicle's creation. The design of the body incorporates Peugeot's new stylistic design codes,
first seen on the SR1 concept car earlier this year, with its "floating" front grille and flowing contours. Polished aluminium components adorn the door surrounds in a reference to the RCZ and BB1.

Architecture, structure and suspension. at the service of maximum efficiency

Far from being a "classic" roadster, the EX1 concept car is based on an architecture shaped like a "water droplet", with a rear section built around two closely set rear wheels. Based on the experience gained from creating the 1996 Asphalte concept
car and the two 20Cup models from 2005. The chosen architecture of the EX1 has enabled the size of the passenger compartment to be reduced for optimal weight distribution and ensure that there is no extra weight at all in the overhangs.

The suspension employs a number of technical solutions that ensure road holding of a very high level. The front suspension consists of a drop link double wishbone arrangement. The rear suspension comprises of a single "swinging arm" linked to a centrally mounted shock absorber which is connected via a rocker arm to provide a variable damping rate.
The monocoque body structure is manufactured from a carbon/honeycomb composite to optimise weight and rigidity. It also incorporates all of the mounting points for the car's mechanical components.

Finally, the dimensions of the car (0.90 m high with a width of 1.77 m) contribute to overall efficiency, a lowering of the centre of gravity and improved aerodynamics.

Engines: PEUGEOT expertise in the field of electric power

The electric motor is a potential source of new driving sensations thanks to its exceptional acceleration capabilities, but also because it is silent in operation and makes the car very easy to drive (no need for a gearbox). On the EX1 concept car, two electric motors are used, one on each axle, each with a peak output of 125 kW (250 kW / 340 bhp in total), and an immediately available constant maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear.

This mechanical architecture allows not only the optimisation of weight distribution, but also four wheel drive. This reflects the positional benefits of HYbrid4 technology, available as standard on the 3008 from 2011, featuring an HDi FAP diesel engine at the front and an electric motor at the rear.

A futuristic and sophisticated passenger compartment

The driver and passenger climb into the passenger compartment through a reverse-opening door, giving access to the two sports bucket seats. This unusual arrangement instantly immerses the occupants in a futuristic and sophisticated environment, as does the on-board instrumentation (instrument panel screens for each occupant showing in particular the vehicle's instantaneous performance) and the chosen materials (e.g. "pure" metals and embossed leather).

The driver, seated at floor level in a driving position that helps enhances the sense of excitement (legs outstretched), drives the vehicle with two control handles, providing an experience similar to that of an aircraft pilot or. video game. As well as the presence of harnesses inside the car, the occupants are also protected by the height of the carbon passenger cell, which has sufficient overhead clearance to include a roll-over protection bar. Similarly, the wind deflector, perfectly integrated in terms of style, allows the car to be driven on a daily basis without a helmet.

An electric dream car designed to be a record beater

The EX1 concept car benefits from characteristics that give it a high enough level of performance not only to leave behind the city centre, the preferred territory of electric vehicles, but also to challenge acceleration records. Its lightness, weight distribution and aerodynamics, the torque and power of its two electric motors and its high-output lithium-ion battery are just some of the characteristics that make this a car capable of lightning acceleration: the latter can exceed 1 G of gravitational force.

Indeed the EX1 concept car has already broken the following international records (approved by the International Automobile Federation) for an electric-powered terrestrial vehicle. This series of records was established, by Nicolas Vanier, the famous French explorer and film-maker ("The Last Trapper", "Wolf") who drove the EX1 concept car.

Between now and the end of the year, China, the world's largest car market, will be the setting for the EX1 to pursues other world records.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Electric sex? Somebody needs to get laid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      glad you like it : )

      styilng exercise is fine but I'd prefer they do it in some kind of day care and leave the official work to someone with appreciation for aerodynamics. shouldn't be too much to ask.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dan Frederiksen, your writing is positively brilliant. Love the style.

      This is what is known as a "styling exercise." It gives designers a chance to think out of the box and develop their skills. It also allows people to experience a 1:1 model and react to it like we are doing. This can be used in the future to judge what elements to keep and what elements to throw away. And yes, aero probably had little to do with its design at this stage.

      Style is endlessly fascinating. I look back at the American cars from the 1950's and wonder, What were the designers thinking, What were the customers thinking? The vehicles are absurd. I also look at the "boxes" on the road today (Scion, Nissan Cube) and scratch my head. But I guess they sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I disagree that style was paramount over aerodynamics. If you take a step back, you can see this is the fusion of the Aptera and the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics approach. The tear-drop shape and psuedo 3-point stance comes from the Aptera, and using scoops to vector the wind and fill the low pressure void behind the vehicle comes from the BMW Vision Efficent Dynamics vehicle. I believe, as emissions / mileage standards get tougher, that automakers will move in this direction, as it is the only choice left to achieve super low drag coefficients - especially for sports cars. Now, if they could just use architectural fabrics for the front end, like the BMW GINA concept, to create eyelids for the headlights, this vehicle would be the concept to catch.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No doubt low drag is the future. The Edison2 VLC with a Cd of 0.16 is an excellent example of that. Hey, even some of the latest Mercedes are impressive at Cd of 0.26. So I think the message has been received by major manufacturers.

        The parallel message is that you must make something that you can sell. The 1999-2006 is an awesome vehicle, technically, but so what? It didn't sell and had to be pulled from the market. No one else wants to repeat that mistake.

        Styling, like it or not, is a big part of why people buy cars. So we will need a marriage of design and aero and features to make this all work together.

        As a Prius driver, I am constantly amazed at the negative gut-level reaction people have to the vehicles' style. Personally, I don't have a problem with the look and love the hatchback for its practicality.

        But it may be a while before we see anyone else try covered wheel wells again (e.g. EV1) as the style aspect seems to outweigh the aero gains.
        • 5 Years Ago
        glad you like it : )

        styilng exercise is fine but I'd prefer they do it in some kind of day care and leave the official work to someone with appreciation for aerodynamics. shouldn't be too much to ask.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I cannot imagine what 340 horsepower feels like in an electric. I am sure the starting torque has to be limited to 2% of available power :P
      • 5 Years Ago
      its things like this, that make me want to become rich.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well - I don't know if I love it as much as the author.
      But I do love Peugeot for thinking so far outside the known box.
      And too, for going further than sketches and talk.

      I think it is time for some radical rethinking of what is needed in different sectors of modern personal transportation and what can be done with modern tech.
      Instead - it starts always with what is.... and then some slight changes.

      Peugeot caught my eye with the radical BB-1 concept last year and are now one to watch for me. Too bad we don't get them in the states.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Domenick, had they stated a weight and it was low (and real) then they would get credit for that. but they didn't. claim of carbon fiber aside I'm not sure that what's in the pictures is more than computer graphics except for maybe the needlessly wide wheels.
      and it's not aerodynamic as covered above. it has needless holes on the side and no flow. it can be done quite well without removing the roof and windshield as for instance the GM EV1 and GM Ultralite
      • 5 Years Ago
      One of the thnkgs I like about the Hybrid 4 system is that it gives great flexibility to bring in different layouts.
      I'd like to see a prototype with two electric motors at the rear, either in the wheels or just in-board of them, so as to do away with the need for a differential in the rear axle.
      Capacitors to absorb braking energy and provide for stop/start would be nice too.
      • 5 Years Ago

      I meant not to incite more than maybe different thought with my comments. I note the potential benefits in such a design, from the standpoint of a mechanical engineer employed in a profession that deals primarily with aerodynamics (and I use my profession both humbly and out of disclosure because my experiences may sway my judgment). I have been working with a major aircraft gas turbine engine manufacturer, but I won't tell you which one. I was a designer for seven of the last twelve years (I now manage, but one of my operational patents developed from a scratch on paper), and I fully appreciate the challenges in high energy aerodynamics. In the future (only my Master's thesis in sustainable power production separates me from, my next career) I hope to influence the world with innovations in sustainable power production. Again, I say this in humility, as I fully anticipate there are many reading these pages with much more advanced knowledge and experience than my own.

      I've noticed from your other comments that you seem to laud the EV1, which may also lead me to believe our interests in automobiles differs slightly. Though I love the idea of a combustion-free vehicle, I enjoy autocross and love driving a very quick and agile car. This concept appears to have those makings.

      I have also noticed (it's my first time reading or replying to the comments on this site) that several of you use your real names. My name is very unique and I am very easy to find on the web, so I prefer not to give it. Hopefully it doesn't make the readership think less of my comments, but I do understand if it does.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As Dan said, there are a lot of things I like about this car but the fact that it's so far out from being practical is very detrimental to the concept overall. I like the tapered rear design, but I disagree that a more production-ready version of the car would have to have a roof. A windshield, absolutely, but the fact of the matter is that as electric car technology progresses more and more manufacturers will begin to offer performance versions of their EVs and a lot of buyers co-relate performance with open-top excitement. I know eventually I'd like to have three vehicles in my garage; one for off road, one family sedan for general use, and one ultra-light, stripped-down road beast, in which this Peugeot would slot into the third category.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm all for fast electric cars but really not a fan of concept cars that are ridiculous and not designed to work. no windscreen, no roof and seats attached to the door..
      Donald Trump: you're fired!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm disappointed Dan, I thought you'd love this thing. It's got all the things you like and not much of the things you don't.

        It is supposed to be quite aerodynamic (hopefully we'll get numbers during the Paris Motor Show). It's not tall and boxy, the driver is practically laying down to help keep the profile low and it mimics a water droplet (0.90 m high with a width of 1.77 m).

        It's super lightweight with the mechanical components fitted directly to the carbon composite monocoque. The only thing it doesn't have is skinny tires. Ok, and a roof. But who needs a roof anyway? If it rains, you can wear a helmet. ^_^

        Joking aside, I believe this car was made to show how well they can mix innovation with stylish design and also promote some of the tech they are using in their hybrid and electric programs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I understand your points. I think the backwards squat could actually be more like sitting down in one of the short lawn chairs (in my mind better than kicking your leg out, and scrunching and swinging into a spot). I'm still a young guy who loves sport, so I don't mind the squeeze, but my passengers do.

        Your points on aero are definitely on point. We do have to remember it's a concept. When it's skinned with all things considered (aero, safety, production, and practicality) it will look different, but the general aspect with a reducing rear end allows significant wake reduction (in engineering we say "eases convergence"). This is a *powerful* effect, and arguably just as powerful as skinning. Look at any airfoil, airplane, or fish or bird, and you'll see in nature what I mean.

        Disclaimer, I'm an aerospace engineer.
        • 5 Years Ago
        pocket, who do you work for? and forget irrational coyness. just say it.

        if the concept has no real points of merit as it is, then what merit does it have..
        it's hardly a defense that the actual car would be different, if so then why this..
        don't be afraid to realize that the professionals are incompetent and clueless. because they truly are in most cases. and this is no exception.

        in big car companies, a car starts with a paper scratcher. a sculptor if we flatter them. they went to drawing school. with crayons : ) and aerodynamics was not part of their education and is never on their minds in any disciplined sense. they are intuitive products of status quo and they put some semi random sketch expression of that on paper and voila a new car.
        is it born from brilliant scientific aerodynamic considerations? not even a little.

        it's paddy cake amateur hour. adorable when babies do it, not so much when adults do it and the fate of the world is in their hands.
        • 5 Years Ago
        nah I don't think it is particularly easy to get into. you have to back into it like a tiny toilet. and then you have to backwards squat down as if shitting in the woods :)
        and I don't think it's particularly aerodynamic which is what an EV really needs as advantage. way to many openings in the front and very wide. a narrow rear is only aerodynamically advantageous when it tapers aerodynamically like for instance the EV1. this is just a design without any understanding of aerodynamics.
        plus the sides have all sort of totally uncalled for convolutions.
        someone should savagely beat those designers with an aerodynamics clue bat as well as a rationality clue bat.
        less Jean Paul Gaultier, more intelligent design.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is the change of concept the automotive industry needs. Imagine the seats alone (granted they could be more comfortable looking), this has to be the easiest sports car to enter, ever. All while reducing pressure drag by the converging rear end, and done without additional unnecessary vehicle length. This is a complete rethink of the automobile that is necessary to give electrics that one-uppance that is so required to be disruptive.

        As with many concepts, I challenge them only to bring at least 60% of this to the market in the next 5 years.

        Regardless, kudos.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Putting the seats on the doors means a bunch of extra weight required for much stronger than normal door hinges. Unless they want to risk the door ripping off when "super-sized" drivers take a seat.
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