September 14, 2012

The Peugeot Onyx Concept Car

Peugeot stunning new Onyx supercar concept you see on the right here comes the engine from a former Le Mans 24hrs racer: An engine made for both speed and endurance, giving it better fuel efficiency. The concept car is notable for its revolutionary engineering.

You might not realize what you are looking at either. Yes, its a kewl looking concept car... but it is also an engineering marvel. It's a one-off supercar concept designed by a group of car designers exploring the use of unprocessed materials in new ways.

#1. The body of the car isn't aluminum, plastic or carbon fibre. It is hand-finished using pure copper sheet metal, and because it's untreated, the finish will change over the course of time, giving it a new look (like the green copper roofs on government buildings).

#2. The remainder of the bodywork panels are made from carbon fibre, finished in a matt black. Not really that high tech since carbon fibre is pretty par-for-the-course with supercars, but the Onyx sports a double-bubble roof which is fun by itself.

#3. The windows and the roof are made from PolyMethylMethAcrylate (PMMA) - basically, shatter-resistant plastic - an unusual new material.

#4. The Onyx chassis was developed with the help of Peugeot Sport and is constructed from monolithic carbon, and comprises just 12 parts.

#5. It's built with a flat carbon fibre floor like they use in racecars, even if the Onyx has been made "suitable for the road". In total the whole car weighs just 1,100 kg with torsional stiffness said to be ‘optimised'.

#6. The engine under the hood: A 3.7-litre V8 hybrid HDi FAP engine used for Peugeot's Le Mans programme, developing 600bhp transmitted to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

#7. An 80bhp boost button, utilising battery power recuperated from brake energy. So its sorta like a hybrid... but made so you can EXTRA fast using the battery energy. And those brakes? 380mm discs at the front and 355mm at the back. Huge if you know anything about automotive brakes.

#8. The interior is compressed and stretched felt (made from boiled wool), formed as a one-piece moulding with no stitching required. Its one large piece including soundproofing, seats, roof and upper console. It is almost alien how easily everything flows without any nuts and bolts.

#9. The dash is made from wood produced from recycled newspapers - complete with digital screens and an aluminum switchgear operating the engine and air-conditioning controls.

So... its part copper, part paper-mache... The interior... the boost function... the shatter resistant plastic...

Its a shame we can't buy it. But maybe some of the ideas will be put into use in future car designs that are actually for sale.

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