Autos

Peugeot Inception is 671bhp super-GT to preview new EVs


Notably, the steering column has also been removed, to be replaced by an innovative ‘steer-by-wire’ electronic system like that offered on new EVs from Toyota and Lexus. Peugeot said this was developed prior to the Inception concept itself and notes that “most” of the innovations on display are destined for production, suggesting future models could get a similar steering set-up.

The Inception is controlled using a revamped version of Peugeot’s trademark i-Cockpit layout, which majors on touch-sensitive controls and behaves “like a video game in real life”.

The distinctive new ‘wheel’ is aptly called the Hypersquare and is claimed to offer a safer and simpler driving experience. It hosts an array of touch-sensitive buttons for control over the car’s main functions, which behave much like a smartphone to promote familiarity with drivers, and a larger central screen for entertainment and comfort controls.

The Hypersquare can fold away entirely when the Inception is configured to run in Level 4 autonomous mode, which will be possible with the new STLA Autodrive software integrated within this platform, to be replaced by a full-width display screen for passenger entertainment.

Peugeot plans to introduce the Hypersquare on a production car before 2030.

Elsewhere, the cabin is an embodiment of Peugeot’s goal to halve its carbon footprint by 2030 in Europe and become net-carbon-zero by 2038. New moulded textiles, formed from unneeded scraps of polyester and said to be “extremely hard and durable”, are used throughout (as both load-bearing and trim elements) and left visible. The steel seat structures and centre console are also left uncovered to minimise the number of components used, while the seats and carpets are upholstered in 100% recycled polyester.

In terms of future-looking technology, Peugeot is keen to tout the opportunities afforded by Stellantis’s new STLA Brain artificial intelligence functionality. The car is able to recognise an approaching passenger or driver and adjust their seat and comfort settings accordingly and can display appropriate messages to them via a digital strip on the doors, which also houses various sensors for autonomous driving.



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