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Peugeot Sr1 concept
by IKE 09-Jan-2010 15:23

More and more concept cars are emerging until the Geneva motor show open its doors on March. Some are totally unfeasible futuristic, some are slightly ‘conceptized’ production models and others like this new Sr1 concept by Peugeot although would never reach production showcase the design trend of the automaker. The Sr1 is a 2+1 seat convertible; there are the conventional two front seats and an enlarged in the middle rear bench where an extra passenger can sit if necessary (and if he/she can fit there). As expected this concept is a hybrid and it is a convertible with a sailing-grade plastic material for the roof.---

The Sr1 is beautiful and has classic sports car proportion. Its general shape isn't dissimilar to an Aston Martin and the recessed rear glass with the roof up is almost identical to a BMW 6-series cabrio.
It is powered by the familiar PSA hybrid drivetrain (which will reach production soon). There is a 4-cylinder turbodiesel 1.6lt engine in the front powering the front wheels and a 95hp electric motor in the rear axle powering the rear wheels. Their combined power is 313hp.
Of course such a low bonnet and small front overhang cannot be achieved with a transversally mounted engine sitting between the front wheels but this is just a concept, it may be only for static displays or have anything as a powertrain (even hamster powered treadmills) just for rolling photoshooting.

The 'character' crease in the side panels is becoming very popular, Seat is using it as its main design theme (like the BMW kidneys) and Opel is adopting it throughout its range.

The interior is pure concept car excess. It has the usual thick buttons and controls, the crazy-shaped wheel and the computer game graphics on the dials.

None will describe the Sr1 as ugly but it is totally alienated with the other Peugeot cars or concepts, recent or old ones. It doesn't carry over any design clues or references and with different badging it could easily be a Honda, Lotus, Kia or anything.

Peugeot has a strong design language, especially in the last 25 years. All Peugeots were instantly recognizable and many were classically beautiful (406 coupe) or modern icons (205). However in the last decade there was a direction towards excess and quirkiness that could (maybe harshly) described as a caricature of its past self.

The 3 basic elements of recent Peugeot design can be seen in the above photo on the left. There were huge elongated headlamps, the also huge gaping (and 'smiling') front intake and the protruding beak surrounding the badge. This direction was dominant in the recent years and models designed in that era are still entering production now, like the new RC-Z.
Just before the front headlamps meet with the rear ones Peugeot toned down their design and the latest 3008 (above right) and 5008 are more conservative.

The RC HYmotion4 concept appeared in 2008 Paris motor show was a welcoming departure. It is still recognizable as a Peugeot with angular (but not enormous) headlights and the lion badge in a very dominant position. Unfortunately this concept may be a sideslip instead of a new direction, but it is a proof that you can have individuality as a brand and still produce beautiful cars.

The Sr1 is beautiful but insignificant. I prefer it from the 'smiling' ungainly recent ones but with the RC HYmotion4 Peugeot could do a lot better.

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