Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Peugeot Onyx

Words & photos: Daniel Bevis

Peugeot have a habit of creating tantalising concept cars that could feasibly be production realities. The Onyx is a sleek, stiff, carbon-fibre supercar powered by their Le Mans-proven HDi FAP 3.7-litre V8 hybrid, offering 600bhp with an extra 80bhp from a KERS-style button. It weighs 1,100kg and has a flat floor, but is said to be set up for road use. OK, the copper body panels that are designed to age, the polymethylmethacrylate roof, the join-free interior made from compressed felt derived from boiled wool, and the dash made of recycled newspapers may all seem a bit far-fetched, but that's just the nature of a concept car - new materials, new ways of thinking. However, this shape with this engine would sell.

When the Onyx broke cover in a PR maelstrom last year, it caused a media sensation; Peugeot have a proven history of creating magnificent concepts, and this one is truly breathtaking in the sheer audacity of its design. And having had a good poke around the car in Goodwood's supercar paddock, I can confirm that it's every bit as mesmerising in reality as it is on screen... and, much like a Delorean, it's hard to resist giving it a bit of a prod to see what happens. The poor thing was covered in grubby fingerprints. But that's all part of the game, isn't it? The slowly tarnishing copper transmutes as it collects the DNA of its admirers, ultimately becoming a cyborg fusion of everybody it comes into contact with. Or something.

C'mon, seriously now, Peugeot - you've had a game stab at the Audi TT with your RC-Z. Why not take on the R8 with the Onyx?

Click here for more photos of the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

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