2014 Peugeot Exalt Concept

First teased back in January under a sheet of white cloth, Peugeot’s Beijing-bound concept vehicle has finally had the covers pulled off, revealing a dramatically-styled four-door coupe bearing the name "Exalt". So here it is, ladies and gentlemen: the Peugeot Exalt Concept.

Back when it was first teased, Peugeot boldly announced that this concept would serve as a follow up to the incredible Onyx Concept we saw at the 2012 Paris Auto Show . If anything, the Exalt has some pretty enormous shoes to fill, considering how bonkers the Onyx turned out to be with its insane 680-horsepower and 1,061-pound-feet output.

Peugeot is presenting the Exalt Concept with a Hybrid4 powertrain that combines with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, producing a combined output of around 340 horsepower. It’s not on the level of the Onyx, but really, there aren’t a lot of cars out there that are on the level of the Onyx.

Click past the jump to read more about the Peugeot Exalt Concept.

Exterior

Peugeot Exalt Concept

The "crude steel" finish of the Exalt is a sight to behold, even if its unlikely to hit production anytime soon.

The Exalt’s exterior is an interesting interpretation of what Peugeot describes as an homage to the 20s and 30s French cars with exposed steel bodies hand-beaten into shape. The wicked exterior styling does conjure up an industrial look mixed in a sleek shape and modern styling. The "crude steel" finish of the Exalt is a sight to behold, even if its unlikely to hit production anytime soon.

Add that to the aggressively styled front section with the long hood and the unique twin headlamps that was actually set in the bumper and you have the makings of a really unique-looking Peugeot concept.

But the hood and the headlamps are just the first two pieces of the puzzle. There’s also a distinct grille that proudly serves as nice backdrop to the Peugeot lion, which is made even more symbolic given how revered the animal is in Chinese culture.

The rest of the sedan is right around the shape of what you’d expect, but once you get a chance to look at the rear section, you’re going to notice the other distinct characteristic of the Exalt’s exterior. Peugeot Peugeot calls it the "Shark Skin" textile and according to the company, it serves more than just an aesthetic purpose. Apart from its visual appearance, the textile’s technical grain structure allows it to help improve the concept’s aerodynamic performance.

2014 Peugeot Exalt Concept - Exterior Dimensions

Length185.03 Inches
Height51.57 Inches
Weight3,748 LBS

Interior

Peugeot Exalt Concept

There are plenty of design characteristics to look at, not the least of which is what Peugeot describes as its "i-Cockpit".

Peugeot really pulled no punches dressing up the Exalt Concept’s interior, almost to the point of the ridiculous. There are plenty of design characteristics to look at, not the least of which is what Peugeot describes as its "i-Cockpit".

Try to turn your eyes away from the black-ebony wood on the dashboard and center stack and you’ll likely appreciate the cabin more. The leather-wrapped, wood-trimmed steering wheel and the digital instrument cluster that features two folding touchscreen displays are a nice touch to the Exalt’s overall look and functionality. Whereas the former is distinguishable because of its use of “chiné”, a natural wool-based mixed fabric, the latter provides the kind of modern tech functionality that we still haven’t seen in today’s production cars.

You’ll also notice nine toggle switches Peugeot installed on the dashboard of the Exalt. Peugeot’s inspiration is a little over our heads, but each of these switches do serve their own individual purpose, so that’s worth pointing out. One of these toggle switches controls activation of the black light system, which now seems appropriate for a cabin as eccentric as the Exalt.

the former is distinguishable because of its use of “chiné”, a natural wool-based mixed fabric, the latter provides the kind of modern tech functionality that we still haven't seen in today's production cars.

Not surprisingly, there are also details about this concept that draw similarities with Peugeot’s other otherworldly concept, the Onyx. The bucket seats are made of the same composite material associate seat squabs and backrest in natural wool-based “chiné” mixed fabric with the side areas dressed in aged leather. There’s also a lot of basalt fiber details, which Peugeot describes as a natural component from carbon fiber that’s produced by smelting the basalt stone, thereby reducing the use of petrochemical resources.

Oh, and speaking of just plain nutty, the black ebony wood on the Exalt’s cabin also has what looks like etchings that Peugeot describes as a combination of "a lion with bamboo stems and leaves", a work of art that apparently was "entrusted to a Chinese master craftsman using traditional techniques".

We’ve seen a lot of interior concepts in recent years, but very of them are as fascinating as this one.

Drivetrain

Peugeot Exalt Concept

Not one to be outdone by the complexity of both the exterior and interior designs of the concept, the powertrain for the Exalt is actually a hybrid. It’s made up of a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that produces 270 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque, and is combined with a rear axle-mounted, 70-horsepower, electric motor that combines to produce 340 horsepower. This hybrid powertrain all mates to a six-speed transmission.

No details on performance have been released, but we expect the Exalt to hit 60 mph in around five seconds to go with a top speed of possibly around 150 mph.

2014 Peugeot Exalt Concept - Drivetrain Specifications

Gasoline Engine4-cylinder, 1.6-liter THP turbocharged
Output270 HP
Torque243 LB-FT
Electric motorrear axle-mounted 50 kW electric motor
Combined output340 HP
TransmissionSix-speed automatic

Prices

Peugeot Exalt Concept

It’s still a concept so don’t expect any pricing details to be released anytime soon. But if we were to make a guess, a production Exalt could probably retail for anywhere between $90,000 and $100,000.

Competition

Nissan Sports Sedan Concept

Nissan Sport Sedan Concept

Comparing concept cars is a little tricky because there are no assurances that both models, let alone just one, could get green lit for production. But it is a fun exercise, especially if you can find a similar prototype with equally similar characteristics, give or take the presence of wood in the cabin.

On that note, the recently unveiled Nissan Sports Sedan Concept is actually an actual preview of Nissan’s future design language. The aesthetics are more modern than what we’ve seen from Nissan recently and it actually has progressed to the point that we could actually see its language on a future production model.

But unlike the Exalt, the Sports Sedan Concept strictly carries a fuel-consuming 3.5-liter V-6 that produces around 320 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.

Conclusion

Peugeot Exalt Concept

It would be very, very interesting if Peugeot decided to produce the Exalt Concept, even in a limited capacity. We certainly dig how the company managed to combine steel and Shark skin aesthetics with a cabin that’s probably best appreciated if you’re actually inside it.

The hybrid powertrain produces ample output, but not enough to justify the audacity of the Exalt Concept’s design.

LOVE IT
  • Steel body with Shark skin textile is unique, to say the least
  • The front section should be lifted and used in all existing Peugeot models
  • Adequate power
LEAVE IT
  • Peugeot went really nuts on the interior
  • Unlikely that most of the concept’s details will make it to production
  • Looks like a China-catered concept

Press Release

With EXALT, PEUGEOT unveils its imposing vision of the sedan by following the approach initiated in 2012 with the Onyx concept. EXALT aims to please the senses. It calls out from the first contact by its radical styling choices, and the materials selected. First seen on Onyx, the distinct line in the bodywork is reinterpreted by the association of bare metal and an efficient textile, Shark Skin, inspired by the unique texture of a shark’s skin. The remarkable acoustic comfort achieved leaves you to discover an array of materials – natural wool-based “chiné” mixed fabric, aged leather, bare steel and ebony – used to finish the cabin. This high end variety of wood is adorned with a unique design created by the trio PINWU Design. The technology incorporated makes every journey an experience: PEUGEOT i-Cockpit, black light, Pure Blue air purifier … this art of travel is powered by a petrol HYbrid4 drive train with an output of 340hp.

Peugeot Exalt Concept

PEUGEOT’s 125 year automobile history is punctuated by models that made their mark on their era. With the EXALT concept, the brand asserts its position and writes a new page. We are moving forward, resolutely, with confidence.

Maxime Picat, PEUGEOT Brand CEO

The dynamic hatchback

With its sleek and athletic lines, EXALT embodies the power of PEUGEOT design. Sitting on wide tracks and powerfully rounded wheel arches, this 5-door hatchback expresses its style over a length of 4.70m. The alliance of flat surfaces and straight cut lines reconciles aggressiveness and softness.

EXALT chooses to be radical by deleting all superfluous materials, keeping only what is really useful. Its specification comprises materials from the melding of cultures and French and Chinese know-how. Each one of the materials used has been rigorously selected for their efficiency.

PEUGEOT EXALT, is athletic, powerful and sleek incorporating original materials. Its cabin trimmed in natural materials is dedicated to comfort and instinctive driving. This innovative concept makes the sedan even more attractive and more versatile, in particular the tailgate with its unique opening mechanism giving onto a large boot.

Pierre Paul Mattei, PEUGEOT EXALT Styling Manager

In homage to the art of the French motor car from the twenties and thirties, its bare steel bodywork is hand-formed by a master panel beater.

Peugeot Exalt Concept

One of a kind, it reinterprets the historical codes that make up automobile passion: taut and dynamic lines, a high waist line, a raked windscreen, a low roof (just 1.31m), a very slender profile that conceals a cabin that is still spacious, tightly shaped side panels with basalt fibre sills and 20-inch wheels.

The long bonnet grows out of the particularly expressive front end, where the twin headlamps, set in the bumper, integrate the brand’s recognizable signature lighting. In the middle, the powerful grille emerges from the bodywork and provides the backdrop for the doubly symbolic lion. This is because this animal is both the emblem of the brand and in Chinese culture, the expression of power and prestige. At the bottom, the flow of air supplying the engine is divided by beaks carrying the LED direction indicators.

To improve the drag coefficient, the rear of EXALT is trimmed in Shark Skin, an efficient textile. Thanks to its technical grain structure, this material resulting from bio-mimicry markedly improves the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle, with the aim of reducing its fuel consumption. Its use is elevated by a straight line making the transition between the rear door and the quarter light, the transition between the grey of the steel and the red of the Shark Skin. This material contributes towards EXALT’s aerodynamic performance – with a SCx of 0.6 – in association with other elements: an air extractor in the rear bumper, the curve of the roof, the profiled mirrors.

With such remarkable aerodynamics, the mark left by EXALT on its surroundings is essentially visual. A horizontal band in the hollow of the rear spoiler shows the width of the car and the sculpted facet of the lighting signature.

With EXALT, PEUGEOT unveils its vision of the sedan, combining a sleek design with versatility. This radical approach and original qualities make EXALT instantly desirable.

Gilles Vidal, PEUGEOT Director of Style

PEUGEOT EXALT also provides exceptional versatility for a sedan. The tailgate works with an innovative pantograph mechanism. This arrangement allows maximum opening while needing less space externally. The tailgate with its integral motorised hobby flap reveals a boot with a low load sill. Trimmed in wood, it presents a particularly satisfying appearance and facilitates the handling of luggage.

Instinctive driving

Peugeot Exalt Concept

I was inspired by the musical world for this project. Colour is a fundamental notion in it. Notes combine together to create a score which is profoundly moving. This is how technology and tradition merge together in EXALT. In the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit, a digital instrument panel is side by side with toggle switches. The result is pure, timeless.

Alessandro Riga, PEUGEOT EXALT interior stylist

The PEUGEOT i-Cockpit delivers an intense driving experience dedicated to enjoyment. The small wheel trimmed in leather and “chiné”, a natural wool-based mixed fabric, and the digital instrument panel are intuitively arranged in front of the driver for improved operation and reading. On the extended centre console, two folding touch screens emerge from the dashboard. The upper screen gives access to the on board computer and the Hi-Fi and navigation systems. The second screen presents a permanently visible control bar to provide access to the automatic air conditioning and the Pure Blue system.

Nine Toggle Switches are located on the dashboard, evocative in their design of the world of music. They are arranged in two groups, two to the left of the small steering wheel, seven to the right. This distribution was adopted because of the human brain’s ability to easily remember up to seven elements, for their position and their function. Furthermore, the driver is free to associate Toggle Switches with functions, as desired: access to navigation with a particular switch, vehicle settings with another, etc.

Activation of the black light system can also be assigned to one of the Toggle Switches. Built into the headlamps, this system is particularly useful during the transition between day and night. Visibility issues are reduced and driving becomes more relaxed with black light, improving the noticeability of road markings.

For the comfort of its occupants, PEUGEOT EXALT is fitted with an innovative air treatment system called Pure Blue. When stationary, with the vehicle empty, Pure Blue purifies the cabin surfaces by spreading bactericides and fungicides. Once the vehicle is moving, an active filter treats the air before it enters the cabin, eliminating VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and fine particles. So in all circumstances the occupants travel in a purified environment.

Visionary design

PEUGEOT EXALT is made of raw and natural elements associated with innovative and efficient materials. The idea was to finish the car with useful touches and to do it intelligently with the constant objective of optimising processes to economise on the use of materials and reduce waste.

This responsible approach is also applied in the local sourcing of materials, such as black ebony from the tropical forests of South East Asia.

Sophie Gazeau, PEUGEOT EXALT Colours and Materials Stylist

PEUGEOT EXALT is irresistibly attractive to all motoring enthusiasts, whatever their origin. This concept combines western elegance and eastern sophistication.

Fengyou Gong, PEUGEOT China stylist

PEUGEOT EXALT advances the approach initiated by the Onyx concept in 2012.

Regarding the work carried out on the body of the vehicle, bare steel is used to accentuate the expressive lines of the vehicle. Associated parts such as the wheels are also in bare steel in order to highlight the markings left by the milling machines.

Steel remains bare in all areas where it does not come into contact with the bodies of the four occupants. At the elbows and arm contact points, EXALT is trimmed in warm toned wood. From the bottom of the windows, it gives way to a natural wool-based “chiné” mixed fabric used to trim the door panels, the dashboard and the interior roof. Between these two materials, a strip made by 3D printing conceals the speakers of the Hi-Fi system. Its structure draws inspiration from anechoic chambers where the dihedral partitions reduce acoustic interference.

Each occupant has a special welcome on board the PEUGEOT EXALT, whether the driver or a passenger. The bucket seats made of composite material associate seat squabs and backrest in natural wool-based “chiné” mixed fabric with the side areas in aged leather.

Fabric and leather are worked together in a process that optimises the use of resources. So to avoid off-cuts and waste, the fabric is shaped using clamps. This simple process is inspired by the tradition of fine gentlemen’s bespoke tailoring. The fabric then presents surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching.

Peugeot Exalt Concept

Leather for use in cars has always been selected for the absence of markings then tanned to make it perfect. Optimising the skins, EXALT makes us of imperfections in appearance to make each one a unique signature. Then the leathers are aged naturally, without the use of chemicals.

Black ebony wood has been selected for its rare qualities and its indigenous roots to the Asian continent. It bears a motif designed by the PINWU Design Trio agency. Combining a lion with bamboo stems and leaves, its creation was entrusted to a Chinese master craftsman using traditional techniques.

Finally, carbon fibre gives way to basalt fibre, a natural composite. Produced by smelting the basalt stone, it reduces the use of petrochemical resources.

High performance drive train

Weighing just 1,700kg, PEUGEOT EXALT is powered by a plug-in HYbrid4 drive train with a total maximum power of 340hp shared between the four wheels.

The chiselled bonnet houses the 1.6 THP 270hp developed by PEUGEOT Sport. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, this 4-cylinder petrol engine develops a specific power output of nearly 170 hp per litre, making it one of the best in the world.

At the rear, the multi-link rear axle contains a 50 kW electric machine for electric or hybrid phases of operation. This machine also intervenes to recharge the battery through energy recovery braking. On deceleration, braking is produced by the resistant torque of the electric machine. In this way the HYbrid4 technology converts into electricity the kinetic energy that would otherwise have been dissipated as heat through the brake discs and pads.

Intelligent technology, HYbrid4 instantly adapts to the driver’s wishes by selecting the most suitable mode: pure electric, petrol only, petrol-electric hybrid. The driver feels the intensity of the journey, enjoying PEUGEOT’s know-how in road performance.

Peugeot Exalt Concept

With PEUGEOT EXALT, the brand unveils its imposing vision of the sedan. It demonstrates once again that emotion has always been at the heart of our heritage and genes.


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