As with the previous one, the Paris Motor Show Exalt concept is a premium car with locally sourced and recycled materials. The bodywork is hand-formed, the rear is trimmed in a textile known as ‘Shark Skin’, and inside, the ‘Newspaper Wood’ finish borrows (literally) from the pages of major business dailies.
At 1,700 kg (3748 lb.) kerb weight, the Peugeot Exalt is powered by a plug-in HYbrid4 drive train with a combined maximum power of about 340 hp (250 kW, 335 bhp) shared between the four wheels.
Developed by Peugeot Sport, the four-cylinder petrol (gasoline) 1.6-litre THP 270 hp (199 kW, 266 bhp) engine is coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Its specific power output is nearly 170 hp per litre (125 kW/l, 138 bhp/l).
The multi-link rear axle contains a 50 kW (equivalent to 68 hp) electric motor (unlike the 85 kW of the Quartz concept) for electric or hybrid phases of operation.
Here too, the electric motor is used to recharge the battery through energy-recovery braking: on deceleration, braking is produced by the resistant torque of the electric motor, so the HYbrid4 technology draws some electricity from kinetic energy that would otherwise be dissipated as heat through the braking system.
The HYbrid4 technology allows the driver to select an all-electric, a petrol-only or a petrol-electric hybrid mode.
Sitting on wide tracks with rounded wheel arches, the five-door saloon concept has an over all length of 4.70m (185 inches), combining flat surfaces and straight-cut lines.
In homage to the art of the French motor car from the twenties and thirties, the car's bare steel bodywork is hand-formed by a master panel-beater.
The taut lines merge with a high waist line, a raked windscreen and a low roof (1.31m / 51.6 in.), tightly shaped side panels with basalt-fiber sills and 20-inch wheels.
The long bonnet flows into twin headlamps on each side, set into the bumper. In the middle, the grille provides the backdrop for the brand's lion badge. At the bottom, the flow of air supplying the engine is divided by fins housing the LED indicators.
To improve the drag coefficient, the rear of Exalt is trimmed in ‘Shark Skin’, an efficient textile that draws on ‘bio-mimicry’ to create a technical grain structure that improves the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle and reduces fuel consumption. This feature is highlighted by a clear line between the rear door and the quarter light, a transition between the bare steel and the grey of the ‘Shark Skin’, resulting is a finish notably different from the version seen at the Beijing Motor Show last April.
Other aerodynamic enhancing elements include the air extractor in the rear bumper, the curve of the roof and the profiled mirrors. On the versatility side, the tailgate allows maximum opening while needing less space externally, with a low load sill.
The i-Cockpit comes with the small steering wheel trimmed in leather and natural wool-based mixed fabric — and a digital instrument panel in front of the driver. On the center console, two folding touchscreens emerge from the dashboard. The upper screen gives access to the on-board computer, the Hi-Fi and navigation systems. The second one presents a permanently visible control bar for the automatic air conditioning and the ‘Pure Blue’ system.
Peugeot says that when the vehicle is stationary and unoccupied, Pure Blue emits bactericides and fungicides to purify the cabin surfaces. Once the vehicle is moving, an active filter treats the air before it enters the cabin, eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOC) and fine particles.
Steel remains bare in all areas where it does not come into contact with the four occupants. At the elbows and arm contact points, Exalt is trimmed in warm toned wood. From the bottom of the windows, it gives way to a natural wool-based chiné fabric used to trim the door panels, the dashboard and the interior roof. Between these two materials, a 3D-printed strip conceals the speakers of the Hi-Fi system.
The bucket seats are made of composite material, with seat squabs and backrest in chiné fabric with side areas in aged leather. To avoid off-cuts and waste, the fabric is shaped using clamps, a simple process inspired from the tailoring tradition to create surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching.
In China, Exalt used ebony because of its plentiful growth in Asia; in Europe, ebony has been replaced by ‘Newspaper Wood’, made from recycled newspapers. This new type of wood has evolved since its initial use on the ONYX Concept. It is now obtained by recycling business papers, creating a distinctive salmon-pink hue.
Finally, carbon fiber gives way to basalt fiber, a natural composite (more details in the Quartz concept page). Produced by smelting the stone of the same name, basalt fiber reduces the use of petrochemical resources.