We caught a glimpse of the Peugeot Onyx Concept a few weeks ago on Peugeot’s Facebook page. Peugeot, however, chose to be a little coy and not actually release the information, but we managed to peg it down as the Onyx.
Peugeot has now decided to spill the beans about its fancy new concept joining it at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the Onyx Hybrid. Peugeot has released more detailed specifications and some pretty detailed pictures of this new supercar. And this car is much more impressive than any of the initial rumors could have ever alluded to.
Though the press release shows us no indication of when Peugeot plans to officially unveil the Onyx to the public, we can safely assume that it will be at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Even without the official public reveal, all of the information and images that Peugeot has released, we can now pass a detailed review of Peugeot’s supercar concept on to you.
UPDATE 09/17/2012: Peugeot has touched base with us to say that the Onyx’s gasoline engine puts out 1160 Nm (855 pound-feet) of torque and the electric motor puts out 280 Nm (206 pound feet) of torque for a combined 1,061 pound feet of peak torque. They also let us know that Onyx will not ever be produced (duh), but it is rather just a future styling and technology piece.
Click past the jump to read all about this supercar concept and to find out when and if Peugeot plans to put it on the market.
All we got to see of the Onyx’s exterior is its basic side profile and a silhouette of its front fascia. While that was very telling, we still had a big mystery to wade through. Fortunately, Peugeot’s latest press release has given us the majority of the goodies about this exterior, and some of them are rather shocking.
Up front, the fascia is a little more squared-off than we thought it would be, as it almost resembles the DeLorean DMC-12 – if it had managed to survive his drug-trafficking charges and the fact that its stainless steel body required a steel wool pad to detail it. Much like the DMC-12, the Peugeot Onyx has an equally interesting use of metal, as its doors and wings are all made of polished copper. Peugeot left the copper pieces unprotected to allow the natural patina (tarnishing) effect to occur over time.
The remainder of the body panels are developed using a slightly less rare, but not too common, carbon fiber. Peugeot then draped the carbon pieces in a matte black to give the Onyx a sinister look rarely replicated in the automotive world.
The front end features a flat, vertical grille with four horizontal louvers and the obligatory fighting lion emblem. Flanking the grille is a pair of squinting full-LED headlights. Below the grille, a large lower fascia flows toward the ground. On each side of this lower fascia is an air-intake duct that channels life-giving air from the front of the car to the engine in the rear.
As you swoop up and over the shallow-raked windshield, you’ll find a double-hump roof – much like the one on the RCZ – that also boasts a pair of air intakes to channel air to the engine. Speaking of the roof, it is made from the same Ply Methyl MethAcrylate (PMMA) material as all of the glass. For those that don’t know what PMMA is, it is lightweight, shatter-resistant glass, AKA Plexiglas, Lucite or Perspex. We guess “PMMA” sounds a lot cooler than saying “Plexiglas…”
The back end of the Onyx looks like something straight out of a dystopian movie (see “Back to the Future” or “Demolition Man”). This bad boy features a plethora of LEDs, including Peugeot’s signature three-claw taillights, the light bar, and even the “Onyx” bade is made up of LED lights – a really nice touch.
There is no sign of any exhaust system flowing from the rear end, but there are six holes near the bottom of the rear fascia, so we only assume the exhaust somehow routes through these holes. Just above the engine, you’ll find a setup of louvers to help suck heat from the engine compartment without disturbing the Onyx’s astounding 0.30 drag coefficient.
The Onyx concept is a rather svelte one too, as it weighs in at just 1,100 kg (2,425 lbs). It measures in at 4.65 meters (183.1 inches) long x 2.2 meters (86.6 inches) wide x 1.13 meters (44.5 inches) high. For comparison’s sake, the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador measures in at 188.2 inches long, 79.9 inches wide, and 44.7 inches tall, and it weighs in at a relatively flabby 3,472 lbs. This makes the Onyx about 5 inches shorter in length and 0.2 inches shorter in height, but over 6 inches wider and over 1,000 lbs lighter. That’s simply impressive.
On the inside, Peugeot made an ultra-modern, ultra-stylish interior while using materials that would not deplete the Earth’s natural resources. On the inside, you are going to notice a natural look and feel to the Onyx. You’ll also notice how minimalist and clean the interior is, as Peugeot used only the materials that it absolutely had to.
The cockpit it a “tub design,” which is also featured on the Sesto Elemento ’s interior. This means that there are technically no seats. Rather, there are two indentations in the Onyx’s tub that you slide yourself into. The pedals and steering wheel, we assume, more forward and rearward to fit your height. This seating position gives you a great view and excellent road feedback. The cockpit is made completely of compressed and stretched felt, and foam lying atop the car’s existing tub, and is completely soundproof.
Felt also graces the outer ring of the steering wheel, so it feels natural, gives you a good grip and limits sweating as you wheel this nearly-700-horsepower beast around. Behind this wheel rest the paddle shifters to help you run through all six gears that the Onyx boasts.
The dashboard is a thing of beauty, as it is made of a new type of simulated wood. This is actually called “Newspaper Wood” and it is made from used newspapers that are compressed to create a wood-like grain. Peugeot did not try to hide the fact that this is newspaper wood either, by leaving behind the existing print on the newspaper, which is visible when you take a closer look.
There is no need to take your eyes off of the road to check your key gauges, as the Onyx boasts a heads-up display that shows the engine’s activity and vehicle’s speed. The hybrid system’s operation is shown on digital displays, so you can see if it is producing the extra 80 horsepower or not.
There is a rear-view camera screen also mounted on the ceiling, which displays the images of the Onyx’s three rear-view cameras. The cabin boast aerators that actually capture the essence of the materials used to craft the cabin, and dual-zone climate control with milled-aluminum controls.
The final and likely coolest component in the interior is the addition of a camera between the headrests. This camera captures your driving experience and you can upload it to a tablet or laptop to relive the moments.
Engine and Drivetrain
Under the carbon-fiber hood on the Onyx lays a beast, in the form of a 3.7-liter FAP HDi V-8 engine with hybrid technology. The V-8 engine itself is a monster, pumping out an insane 600 horsepower and transferring the power to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential gearbox. On the roof is a set of aluminum switches and the “Start/Stop” switch for ignition of this beast.
The Hybrid4 system in the Peugeot Onyx Hybrid uses regenerative braking to keep its batteries all charged up and tosses into the ring an extra 80 horsepower when it’s charged and ready to go. This brings the Onyx’s peak ponies to 680 horsepower, bringing it dangerously close to the 2012 Aventador ’s peak power.
The Onyx’s gasoline engine puts out 1160 Nm (855 pound-feet) of torque and the electric motor puts out 280 Nm (206 pound feet) of torque for a combined 1,061 pound feet of peak torque. This would likely propel the Onyx to 60 mph in a TopSpeed-estimated 2.2 seconds – well faster than the Mighty Aventador.
Handling and Braking
We’ll start off with the Onyx’s impressive framework. The sleek body rests atop a Monolithic carbon frame. This Monolithic carbon frame is comprised of 12 sections that tie the front and rear end together, adding torsional rigidity to the entire chassis and increasing its handling characteristics. An added bonus to using this type of frame is that in its entirety it only weighs about 100 kg (220.5 lbs).
Embracing the front rims is a set of 275/30R20 tires and the rear rims have a set of 345/30R20 tires wrapped snugly around them. At all four corners, the Onyx boasts double-wishbone suspension and inboard spring and damper system.
The braking is handled by 380 mm (14.96-inch) carbon rotors up front and 355 mm (13.97-inch) carbon discs on the rear. Carbon discs no only keep the unsprung weight lower, helping to enhance the Onyx’s handling characteristics, but it also reduces brake fading from excessive heat. The Onyx’s braking is further enhanced by a rear wing that acts as an air brake under hard braking conditions, much like the Bugatti Veyron.
With its ultra-low weight and rigid carbon frame, Peugeot did not need to put too much focus on the handling and braking department, but did so anyways… Hats off.
Pricing and Release Date
Pricing is not yet known, but we figure Peugeot spent at least $1 million crafting this concept. We highly doubt that the Onyx will reach production nor do we think Peugeot is even entertaining the idea of releasing it for sale. Giving it the due process it deserves, we still contacted Peugeot to find out if there is any potential of us seeing a production model. We anticipate a canned response.
We love concept cars. Regardless of how unbuildable or far-out they are, we still can’t help but fall in love with them. This is one that is extremely far out there that we never expect to see hit a showroom floor, though Peugeot may surprise us. We highly doubt that the copper doors, “Newspaper Wood” dashboard and 680-horsepower engine would make it to production, if the Onyx does slip into the manufacturing line.
Peugeot needs to tread lightly here, if it plans to release this car lacking these features that make it so unique. The last thing this French automaker needs to do is to serve up a stinker like Volvo did with the C30 Polestar Limited Edition, which has nearly half the horsepower that its concept version had.
- Awesome exterior styling
- 680 horsepower will put it near the top of the supercar heap
- Awesome use of the "tub design" interior
- Use of copper on the doors is a cool, but unrealistic addition
- Does anyone really like the smell of old newspapers?
- It’ll never in a million years see Peugeot’s production line in the concept’s form and specs
Gallery Peugeot Onyx Hybrid Concept
Onyx, an audacious use of materials and efficiency
Quasar, Proxima, Oxia, 907 ... Peugeot Supercars have always attracted attention, be it in the eyes of the young or the experienced. In 2012, the Marque is again creating the dream with the
supercar of the 21st century: Onyx.
Shaped using raw materials innovatively, this supercar has been created by enthusiasts who have drawn their inspiration from the world of racing. With its mid-mounted V8 engine, Onyx propels admirers in a world of high performance, controlled at all times through a cockpit with intuitive instrumentation and controls. Beyond its breath-taking beauty, it explores the application of new, primary materials to take efficiency even further.
“Onyx uses everyday materials to energise the car, and to make the future cabin more intuitive. This concept is also accompanied by a supertrike and a superbike ... the Peugeot design teams are
completely inspired, and it shows in their determination to discover more.” Xavier Peugeot, Peugeot Product Director
“Onyx has supercar performance, with extremely aerodynamic lines. It has a unique sculpted shape, styled with innovative materials and an innovative architecture.” Gilles Vidal, Peugeot Style Director
A sharply dressed design
A radical silhouette ... with an intense allure
The body form is sharp with a striking contrast of materials and colours. The wings and doors are handcrafted by a master craftsman from a single sheet of pure copper. Polished like a mirror, the metal remains unprotected to the elements. It will evolve in appearance over time, through a natural patina effect. So Onyx lives! Other body panels are formed in carbon, and painted matt black. Shaped to be efficiently aerodynamic, the front ‘face’ links the vertical grill and the full LED headlights, to produce a streamlined surface. The airflow is then separated; part penetrates into the heart of the car, flowing within the body, for supplying air to the engine. The other part of the
airstream spreads across the car sides and over its ‘double-bubble’ roof into the air intakes.
Onyx ends with a flourish, the tail-lights perpetuate the three-claw light signature characteristic of Peugeot. They also support small vanes, which direct the flow of air over the top and side. They meet as far as possible from the body to reduce interference. With a Cd of 0.30, the aerodynamic footprint of Onyx is inversely proportional to its visual impact.
Linking experience with the future, Onyx incorporates the present by honouring the iconic RCZ with a subtle characteristic ‘double-bubble’ roofline and aluminium roof arches. Fully transparent, revealing the strong carbon structure and the interior, the windows and the roof are made of PMMA (PolyMethyl MethAcrylate), enclosing the cocoon that provides maximum occupant protection.
“Onyx has a svelte silhouette with a sculpted form that goes from smooth, sensual to sharp and technologic. From the very first sketches, I wanted to create a showcase of technological excellence and craftsmanship using high performance aerodynamic cues, ‘black diamond glass house’ and body panels hand-shaped in copper.” Sandeep Bhambra, Exterior Designer of Onyx
The performance supercar
The frame of the car is an innovative piece of design, developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport and the research and development teams. Made of Monolithic carbon, this central structure consists of only 12 parts. It integrates the front with the rear, increasing torsional stiffness and the mass of the structure is optimised, weighing in at only 100kg.
Bolted to the carbon shell, the V8 hybrid HDi FAP 3.7-litre engine, and the suspension were also developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport that has been acquired and validated on circuits around the world. Cooled by twin NACA ducts on the roof, the V8 transmits its 600bhp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential gearbox. This power is delivered in a vehicle of ideal proportions: 4.65m long, 2.20m wide, 1.13m high, weighing just 1,100kg.
Fitted with specially developed Michelin tyres, 275/30 at the front and 345/30 at the rear, with 20’’ rims and equipped with double wishbone suspension and in-board springs and damping.
Intelligent, HYbrid4 technology recovers the kinetic energy normally lost during braking. Stored in lithium-ion batteries, this energy is then automatically returned when accelerating, boosting the power with an extra 80bhp. The management of this function is evident to the driver, supplementing the driving enjoyment. Drawing on the experience of a competitive environment, the engine has been tuned specially for the challenges of road application.
With an impressive power-to-weight ratio, at less than 2kg per brake horsepower, Onyx achieves very high performance without affecting the purity and elegance of its style. To do so, Onyx has a flat carbon underside, which creates a powerful ground effect. Thus, the aerodynamic elements are kept at a minimum, by extensions of the carbon structure and the movable rear wing that loads the rear axle during braking, which is provided by four carbon discs; with a diameter of 380mm front and 355mm at the rear.
An innovative driving environment experience
For the driver to gain access into the interior, the doors provide easy access through a sophisticated Pantographic mechanism design with two movements. On opening, the copper outer skin separates from the door frame, hinged on the door’s outer edge, to ensure the body style aspect is maintained.
The interior is bright and natural, from the floor to the roof. The intuitive design and the materials used to construct its structure characteristics are all on view. As with the bodywork, the interior is
frugal in its use of materials, resulting in a minimalist interior, in close proximity to the occupants. For the materials chosen and how they should be used and implemented, Onyx explores their life cycles. Onyx demonstrates it is possible to reconcile customer demands, with high performance and preservation of natural resources.
“We sought to use the materials fit for a modern supercar, to ensure the components specified fully justified inclusion. Carbon for its strength and lightweight performance, copper and PMMA for their virtues, felt and paper for their natural elements – all used efficiently.” Sophie Gazeau, Colour & Materials Designer
Made of felt, compressed and stretched, the cockpit is modelled in a one piece cockpit ‘tub’, with no seams or joins. The carbon structure combined with the felt surface creates a protective cocoon around its occupants, allowing it to function ergonomically while incorporating all the features previously performed by individual components: soundproofing, floor, high console, roof and bucket seats.
The occupants are integral within one homogeneous piece that also reduces weight. Sports comfort has been integrated with the insertion of foam under the felt, in the areas of contact with the body.
Warm and soft, the felt is derived from traditional production techniques. Obtained from boiled wool, with interwoven fibres, this material is completely recyclable and is an excellent thermal insulator. In addition, it improves the quality of the surrounding air by dehumidifying.
“For the interior, it was inspired by an object of everyday life – ‘the 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.” Julien Cueff, Interior Designer
On board, the driver has all the controls in full view, without having to take his eyes off the road ahead. The felt trimmed steering wheel falls naturally to the hands to provide an immediate feeling of agility. Within the carbon ‘tub’, aluminium controls drive the functions of the Peugeot Onyx, while the paddles control gear selection. The dashboard is constructed with of a new type of ‘timber’ – ‘Newspaper Wood’. Produced from used newspapers, assembled and compressed to create a new material from which the parts are made. The illusion is beautiful with veins of colour evident on the surface. On closer inspection the secret is revealed with the appearance of the print type.
The dashboard houses the heads-up display cluster which shows the engine activity and the vehicle’s speed on metal components, appearing and disappearing, like the keys of a piano. The operation of the hybrid activation is indicated by digital displays. Installed in the roof is a selection of aluminium toggle switches that include the start switch for the engine. Just behind it, a reflective blade displays rear view camera images: two located in the mirrors, the third, which provides a panoramic view, positioned on the rear panel.
Also covered in felt, the central console celebrates the expertise of the craft of the master glass blower with a masterpiece in glass crystal. This fuel gauge ‘reservoir’ visually indicates the level of fuel in the tank using etched indicator markings for capacity. It also contains in an inner shell, the smell of this supercar. Released into the cabin by aerators, the fragrance captures the essence of the materials used. Finally, the console features dual-zone air conditioning controls made from milled solid aluminium, where the milling paths in the material are used as grips for the hand.
The beauty of this interior and dynamic experience is captured internally by a camera installed between the headrests. The film is then available to be replayed on a tablet device, inserted into the dashboard facing the passenger and providing an interface for the car infotainment, capturing the experience for posterity.