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the Peugeot Quartz Concept carUnveiled this week at the Paris Motor Show, the Peugeot Quartz Concept car offers a glimpse into the future of the SUV combining dazzling design, innovative materials and the wonders of Hybrid to form what could well be the ultimate premium family car experience – just part of Peugeot’s Paris Motor Show offering.

“With the EXALT and QUARTZ Concepts, the Brand is showcasing its vision of the high-end automotive market. PEUGEOT is committed to developing exclusive concepts for its customers through outstanding design, innovative materials and unparalleled sensations.” Maxime Picat, PEUGEOT Brand Chief Executive Officer

Sketches of the Peugeot Quartz Concept carThe Peugeot Quartz

Described by Peugeot as “an ultra-athletic crossover”, the Peugeot Quartz is a hybrid car in itself as it merges the body of an SUV with the cabin of a saloon, complete with sleek design lines, short overhangs and some dramatic 23” wheels sat comfortably inside generously rounded wheel arches.

It’s long (4.5m), it’s wide (2.06m), it’s athletic and it’s got an LED lighting system for improved efficiency. But it is the look of the car that is most impressive, with the now standard for the brand Peugeot Lion sitting proudly in the middle of the grille, and a little added twist for anyone looking at the car - a chequered pattern on the Peugeot Quartz that shifts depending on the angle you view it from. There’s also a glass roof flows towards the rear wings where you will find two spoilers aligned with the Coupe Franche separator to enhance the already aerodynamic design – a separator for the two Quartz finishes: mineral grey at the front, inspired by rock crystal, and matt black for the rear wings, offset by occasional splashes of red.

Aerodynamism is also helped by a minimal number of wheel spokes with the wheels covered with composite flapsto help the aeronautics and help cool the brakes to ensure improved heat resistance.

“The PEUGEOT QUARTZ Concept is the marriage in a single form that embraces the lower aspects of an SUV with the upper features of a saloon. The styling reflects the function of each part. The QUARTZ's sculpted body and innovative materials pack a punch while ensuring dynamic efficiency.” Matthias Hossann, PEUGEOT QUARTZ Design Manager

The Cabin of the Peugeot Quartz Concept carThe Peugeot Quartz cabin

Based on the same EMP2 platform that is used to underpin the new 308, the composite structure and bonded panels on the Peugeot Quartz save weight but bring exceptional stiffness – so much so that Peugeot designers and engineers have been able to completely do away with the central B pillar to enable them to create scissor doors complete with a retractable step.

And then there is the use of innovative materials. For a start, Basalt – a strong but light material formed when magma is quickly cooled – is used strongly in the centre console, and digitally woven textile interweaved with polyester fibre from recycled plastic water bottles is also used. This innovative process can create large and complex components that can be used as soon as they come off the machine with no cutting required, and the Peugeot Quartz is the first car to make use of this!

Black leather is used on the floor pan, sides and roof trim to make the car not only feel sportier, but look it too as the trim comes into contact with seat cushions and backs in tawny leather, and the door frames milled from a block of composite material.

“The QUARTZ Concept has a contrasting interior and exterior. The cabin is designed to convey an enticing sense through its sophistication and refinement. Yet the overall feel is undeniably sporty, with an i-Cockpit dedicated to the driver's every need.” Sébastien Floutier, PEUGEOT QUARTZ Colour and Trim Designer.

Cockpit of the Peugeot Quartz Concept carThe Peugeot Quartz driver-dedicated i-Cockpit

As Sébastien Floutier hinted at, the Peugeot Quartz  i-Cockpit keeps everything handy and at the driver's fingertips. The compact steering wheel has controls for the indicators, driving modes and gear changes embedded in it, so the driver’s hands don’t have to leave the wheel, the head-up display’s large, configurable screen with a central 45-degree polycarbonate strip is angled towards the driver to allow easy access and the instrument panel is on both sides of the small steering whee.

The driver's seat has a solid wraparound fit to complement the car's high performance, but the passengers aren’t forgotten either with each of the four passengers having a bucket seat with its structure left exposed (to optimise interior space) with floating cushions and backrests trimmed in tawny leather to ensure excellent comfort.

“PEUGEOT's style strength lies in its prowess at tackling a saloon or hatchback just as effectively as a Crossover to create the kind of stylish car that people would really love to own.” Gilles Vidal, PEUGEOT Design Director

The Peugeot Quartz high-performance drive train

The Peugeot Quartz uses a plug-in hybrid 1.6-litre THP 270 four-cylinder drive train made up of a petrol engine supplemented by two electric motors that delivers torque of 330Nm, with a specific output of nearly 170hp per litre, making it one of the world's best performing engines.

Both front and rear axle are capable of being driven by an 85kW electric motor with direct drive, and as you would expect from a hybrid engine, this charges the 400V battery during deceleration and assists the combustion engine with gear changes.

There are three driving modes: ZEV mode enables the car to cover up 31 miles on a single battery charge using the plug-in battery; Road mode uses both the combustion engine and front electric motor whilst maximising battery charging during deceleration; and Race mode harnesses the power of the engine and both electric motors to do exactly what it says on the tin (with a limited-slip differential for increased driver engagement.)

No timeframe yet for production of the Peugeot Quartz, but it is likely to be a talking point on the Peugeot stand at the Paris Motor Show.