In what is shaping up to be a race between a whole slew of European car manufacturers, French automaker Peugeot has paid homage to its classic 504 Coupe with first images released of a new EV sports coupé concept prior to its launch at the Paris Motor Show next month.
While the original 504 (which this year celebrates its 50th year anniversary) emanated the sleek retro lines so characteristic of its heyday, the e-LEGEND seeks to achieve a ‘hyper-technological’ edge while at the same honouring those classic lines – but without a hint of nostalgia, says Peugeot’s style director Gilles Vidal.
Certainly, the side profile and narrow grille LED lights skilfully translate the original 504, but inside, there are tonnes of tech features that will have EV enthusiasts and and futurists alike eagerly awaiting more.
Capitalising on new electric drive technology being developed from next year by Peugeot’s parent company PSA, the design team have noted the extra opportunities available with the removal of technical constraints of having to build in a combustion engine and associated systems.
This has allowed them to fit into the 4.65 metres vehicle a 100kWh battery to achieve a torque of 800 Nm, with 340kW transmitted to all four wheels.
Going from 0 to 100 km/hr in less than 4 seconds and up to to 220 km/hr, the French automaker says that the e-LEGEND concept can drive up to 600km (WLTP) on a single charge – and that via an induction fast charging system, the battery can recharge to gain another 500km in 25 minutes.
Not to be left behind on the autonomous front, the Peugeot e-Legend Concept focuses on digitisation and self-driving technology, with a digital network of ‘bronze-like’ elements are distributed over the entire interior, converging on 16 screens of various sizes.
The largest of these is a curved 49-inch screen which is located under the ‘sound bar’ (from which emanates AI-enabled conversation with Vidal’s digitised voice), as well as a 29-inch screen in each door, and 12-inch screens in the sun visors.
Autonomous driving for the e-LEGEND concept promises two modes: ‘Soft’, which minimises the disturbance of the occupants by reducing the digitised displays, and ‘Sharp’, which activates connective elements such as social media and other apps.
The center console provides access to important driving functions via a rotary control and a 6-inch touchscreen, and toggle switches are available to the left of the steering wheel.
When self-driving mode is activated in the Peugeot e-Legend Concept, the interior configuration changes, with the steering wheel disappearing under the sound bar.
Visible in the lower section of the rear window, passengers and drivers can view a screen from the outside to be greeted with a personal welcome and information about the state of charge of the battery; the screen also serves to inform pedestrians and other drivers if the car is in autonomous mode.
It’s all very super-modern, in other words, sweetly harkening back to futuristic aesthetics such as that of cult cartoon ‘Thunderbirds’ – which is exactly the point.
“Peugeot e-LEGEND concept is not just a technological manifesto. This is the vision of a brand, Peugeot , actively focused on an optimistic and ultra-desirable future. For Peugeot, autonomous and electric are synonymous with even stronger sensations. Boredom will never be part of our DNA,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.
Whether and when the French EV concept goes into production is unknown, stay tuned for the Paris Motor Show which is due to commence next month and run from Ocober 2 to 14, 2018.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.