Peugeot Onyx combines style and ethics

The Mondial de L'Automobile show in Paris later this month will see a new concept on display from Peugeot; a stylish supercar that makes the most of its green credentials.

Peugeot's stand at the prestigious 2012 show will include 40 vehicles and three concepts, with the 2008 concept and the RCZ R concept being joined by the new Peugeot Onyx concept.

With a reputation across the industry of conducting innovative green car research, Peugeot has combined this with designing desirable sports cars, and the much-anticipated Peugeot Onyx continues the policy of making the most of its materials.

Materials requiring heavy processing procedures are avoided in the make-up of the Onyx, and, although efficiency of materials remains central to Peugeot's agenda, they stress that the Onyx has been designed by car enthusiasts.

Therefore it retains the critical elements of being desirable and driveable.

Gilles Vidal, Peugeot's style director, commented: "Onyx has the strength of a supercar, with extremely aerodynamic lines. It is made unique by its sculpted, chiselled style and by the innovative materials and structure."

The main structure of the vehicle is shaped from ultra-resistant carbon fibre, with PolyMethyl MethAcrylate windows and roof, which guarantees optimal safety.

Peugeot claim that the minimalist, stripped-down appearance of the car gives it an added desirability. The carbon chassis only features 12 parts, as it is reduced to its purest essentials. This approach allows for the incorporation and removal of certain specific parts which combines to present an entire structure that weighs barely 100Kgs.

A flat carbon fibre floor creates a potent ground effect and this, along with a moving spoiler, reduces the need for aerodynamic components. The minimalist and material efficiency approach extends to the car interior, where the Onyx uses only the materials needed to create the components and house them.

Visually, the copper-sheet wings and doors complement the matt-black carbon fibre panels, and the Onyx has borrowed the "double-bubble" roof from its RCZ predecessor, which ensures a striking image.

Peugeot has aimed to balance technological excellence with optimum efficiency in the performance of the Onyx. Attention-to-detail is immediately apparent in achieving this, as the 3.7 litre V8 hybrid HCi FAP engine is taken from Peugeot's worldwide success on the racetrack, and delivers a 600bhp to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Efficiency is further maximised by the re-use of the kinetic energy, usually lost when braking, in the acceleration, providing a 80bhp boost through Peugeot's innovative HYbrid4 technology. Specially-designed Michelin tyres supplement the competition-inspired level of performance, as does the front and rear in-board controlled suspension.

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