The Peugeot Quartz concept car is based on the same platform that underpins the new 308 compact car, which gives a clearer idea about what SUV segment the concept car is hinting at. It gets its power from a 500 hp (367 kW, 493 bhp) plug-in hybrid drive train, comprising a petrol (gasoline) engine plus two electric motors.
Developed by Peugeot Sport, the four-cylinder, 1.6-litre THP 270 hp (199 kW, 266 bhp) petrol engine has a specific output of nearly 170 hp per litre (125 kW/l, 168 bhp/l). It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum torque is 330 Nm (243 lb-ft, 33.6 kg-m).
The front axle is driven by an 85 kW electric motor with direct drive. It charges the 400V battery during deceleration and assists the combustion engine during gear changes. The rear axle also features an 85 kW electric motor for propulsion and battery charging.
Three driving modes are available: ZEV (as in "zero emission vehicle") can cover up to 50 km (31 miles) on a single battery charge using the plug-in battery, Road mode uses the combustion engine and front electric motor (its maximizes battery charging during deceleration) and Race mode to combine the power of the engine with both electric motors. A limited-slip differential is fitted to enhance handling and help get the most out of the chassis.
The front axle has MacPherson struts while the rear comes with a multi-arm suspension arrangement, including the on-board electric motor. The pneumatic suspension automatically adjusts ground clearance between 300 and 350 mm (11.8 and 13.8 inches). Peugeot says that this is controlled by an optical system that uses cameras linked to the satellite navigation to read the road and anticipate changes in its surface.
The Quartz concept combines the body of a compact SUV with the cabin of a saloon. Sleek lines, short over-hangs and 23-inch wheels, within a body that is 4.5m long and 2.06m wide, with a long bonnet and louvres to help improve airflow to the engine.
Based on the same EMP2 platform of the new 308 model (C-segment, lower medium category), the composite structure and bonded panels save weight with exceptional stiffness which allowed engineers to remove the central B pillar and replace it with scissor doors and a retractable step to facilitate access.
The lighting system features LED units and the glass roof flows towards the rear wings and incorporates two spoilers aligned with the separator between the two QUARTZ finishes: mineral grey at the front and matt black for the rear wings, offset by occasional splashes of red.
Wheel spokes are kept to a minimum thanks to the strength of the materials and they’re covered with composite flaps to optimize aerodynamic flow and help cool the brakes.
Basalt is largely present in the center console. The strong and light basalt material is formed when magma is quickly cooled once it comes in contact with the elements. It has the same properties the world over, making sourcing much easier (also used in the interior of the Exalt concept).
Peugeot claims that the Quartz Concept is the first-ever vehicle to employ digitally woven textile, in a process which can create large and complex components that can be used as soon as they come off the machine. No cutting is required, hence, no waste. The textile is woven with polyester fiber from recycled plastic water bottles.
The floor pan, sides and roof are trimmed in black leather, with contact points such as seat cushions and backs in tawny leather. The door frames are milled from a block of composite material, and a red hue fills the grooves left by the machine.
The i-Cockpit of the Quartz concept consists of a compact steering wheel with embedded controls to use indicators, change driving modes or shift gears. The head-up display provides a large, configurable screen with a central 45-degree polycarbonate strip for additional info. The instrument panel is on both sides of the steering wheel.
Each of the four passengers has a bucket seat. The structure is left exposed and features a four-point retractable harness, with floating cushions and backrests trimmed in tawny leather. The driver's seat has a solid wraparound fit.