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Peugeot showcases e-Legend autonomous concept at Paris

8th Oct 2018 12:00 pm

Autonomous electric coupé inspired by classic 504 coupé; firm's boss admits a version of it could go into production.

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The Peugeot e-Legend Concept is an electric sportscar with advanced autonomous features and is styled on the 504 coupé. The carmaker took the wraps off the model at the Paris motor show.

The machine has been created by the French carmaker as proof that future cars can be exciting. Peugeot boss Jean-Phillipe Imparato has said that he was proud of the concept and would love to see a production model but that decision was still some time away. "We don't want to take the decision until our electrification process is complete in 2020," said Imparato at the Paris show. "Then we will decide if we want to make it."

The e-Legend has been inspired by the 50-year-old, popular coupé version of the Peugeot 504. The new car takes numerous styling cues from that machine, including its twin headlights.

Peugeot design boss Gilles Vidal said that the e-Legend was designed to deliberately contrast with its last autonomous concept – the Instinct. “That took the shape of a future-orientated machine,” he said. “We wanted to push that logic further, and talk about a non-boring future in which we don’t have to have slow-looking cars that are sleek and minimalistic. Humans are emotional animals, so let’s have exciting things.”

However, the firm was determined to ensure the machine wasn’t simply a retro design, so it was given sharper lines that mimic American muscle cars. “This was the most difficult concept car I’ve had to design,” said Matthias Houssan, Peugeot’s concept-car design boss. “It took time to find the right balance between our heritage and the 504 feeling, and more futuristic ingredients, without going too much into retro design.”

Under its retro styling, the e-Legend intends to showcase future technologies. Designed to have an electric powertrain featuring twin motors – one located on each axle – the car would produce 462hp and 800Nm of torque delivered to all four wheels. It has a 0-100kph time of under 4sec and a top speed of 220kph. It features a 100kWh battery located under the floors, offering a range of more than 595km.

The concept has two driver modes – 'Legend' and 'Boost'. The Legend mode features three smartphone-sized driver display screens mimicking the three dials seen on the 504 coupé dashboard. The Boost mode uses a single driver information screen and projects images from the car’s cameras onto digital surfaces inside the car to offer a more immersive experience. The seats are clothed in blue interwoven velvet, which also echoes the 504 coupé.

The e-Legend is also designed for L4 ‘hands-off’ autonomous driving. It features a new version of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit system that retracts away from the driving into the minimalist dash to free up more space.

Much of the dash is replaced by a Focal soundbar, situated above a large 49-inch curved screen that functions as an information display during normal mode and a screen for watching films using media in autonomous mode. It also has a built-in video game – a version of Pong, which was developed around the same time as the 504 coupé.

Houssan said he hoped the e-Legend could “reassure people who are not comfortable” with autonomous technology. “When you see this,” he added, “it still looks likes a more driver-orientated car. And the interior is designed to be warm and comfortable, and easy to switch from autonomous to driving mode.”

The e-Legend has been developed purely as a concept machine for now, with no production plans, yet. However, Housssan said that “many elements” on the car could be used on future production models. “Nothing is free when we design a concept car,” he said. “We develop them in the same studio as the production cars, so it feeds all our other projects.”

Copyright (c) Autocar UK. All rights reserved.


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