Words & photos - Daniel Bevis
Peugeot are great at concept cars. Always have been. The Onyx, the Proxima, the 907, they're all achingly beautiful creations, brimming over with brilliant ideas.
What's particularly brilliant about this one, the Oxia, is that it works. And I don't just mean it can trundle around a showground when required - it's got a bona fide race car heart, and can hit 217mph.
The legend goes that Peugeot spent eight million Francs on the Oxia programme, riding on the coat-tails of their motorsport successes; having kicked a comprehensive quantity of arse in Group B, at Pikes Peak, at the Paris-Dakar and, most relevant here, at Le Mans, they decided to throw a whole bunch of cash at an absurd mid-engined hypercar prototype with absolutely no production viability. Why not, eh?
So, the carbon-Kevlar Oxia had a Le Mans engine - the WM P88 twin-turbo V6, lightly detuned to give a sensible 670bhp. The whole chassis was scratch-engineered to match; four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, electronically-controlled diffs, the works. Initial aerodynamic projections predicted a top speed of 187mph, but then Peugeot took it to Nardo for testing and were pleased to note that it could actually do 217mph. For goodness' sake.
...and it wouldn't be a Peugeot concept without a raft of cockpit gadgets and gizmos. The Oxia has a radio-telephone, a CD player (radical for 1988!), and even a navigation system. In case you've been going so fast that you've ended up on the wrong side of the horizon and can't find your way back, presumably.
Spotted at the 2016 Concours of Elegance - more pics here.