Peugeot has for years been adding serious lion-ish ferocity to its cars, with design elements like triple-claw headlights and slashed DRLs. We thought that trend might have found its ultimate conclusion in the absolutely feral 9X8 race car, but we were wrong. The all-new Inception concept bowed at CES 2023 last week, showing even more extreme styling with edges so sharp you might slice a finger on them, a full glass cockpit, and digital technology woven throughout the interior and exterior. The concept promises a much bolder future for the Peugeot EV.
The 5-m (16.4-ft) Inception concept previews the styling direction Peugeot will take with future EVs, and the company says the radical design language will find its way to actual products starting in 2025.
The French automaker will undoubtedly dull down those razor-sharp edges a little before sending the design package through to production, but it does plan to mix more geometry into a formula of smooth lines and athletic curves.
The Inception’s feline stance supports undulating volumes and bulging muscles surrounding a space-age-like 7.3-sq m (78-sq ft) glasshouse so huge it dives below hood height. That hood area doesn’t look particularly friendly for heavy snows, but it’s definitely eye-catching, framing out a recessed front end that appears to be derived from the retro-licious 2018 e-Legend concept. Within that facial recess, the Inception’s front fascia glows from within a single piece of glass, tying together Peugeot’s triple-claw headlamps and an illuminated badge.
Like the Ram 1500 Revolution BEV concept, the Inception comes built atop Stellantis’ upcoming STLA BEV architecture. Peugeot imagines the 670-hp (500-kW) dual-motor AWD powertrain driving it for up to 800 km (497 miles) of range per charge of the 100-kWh battery pack. Once drained, the 800-V battery can add 150 km (93 miles) of range in just five minutes of fast-charging.
Inside the multi-chrome-treated glass, the Inception debuts a next-generation version of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, complete with what the company calls a Hypersquare steer-by-wire control system. In place of the classic steering wheel, this digitized command center houses a central touchscreen and circular corner controls inside a rounded rectangle controller. The driver can manage drive and interior functions with mere swipes of the fingertips, or switch over to Level 4 autonomous mode to sit back and enjoy content on the panoramic screen that emerges to replace the retracted Hypersquare controls.
Behind the Hypersquare, Peugeot goes 3D with the instrument panel to create what it calls the Halo Cluster. The ring-shaped display delivers information to the driver and also communicates with those outside the vehicle, such as passengers approaching the door. The car also includes a digital “Tech Bar” door design that furthers communications with outsiders.
The Inception’s seats boast an immersive design meant to conform to the body, utilizing inflatable quilting around the shoulder rests to better customize fit. All front and rear passengers enjoy a full view of their surroundings thanks to the bubble-like glass and the lack of dashboard. A soundbar-based Focal premium sound system adds audio to the visuals.
The Inception concept becomes the latest component of Peugeot’s ongoing efforts to fully electrify its lineup. The automaker plans to launch five new all-electric models over the next two years ahead of electrifying 100% of its European range by 2030.
The quick intro video shows a closer look at some of the concept’s features.
Peugeot Inception Concept | Reveal
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