Peugeot unveils 340-hp plug-in hybrid

The Exalt has a low roof, raked windscreen, high waist line, wide tracks and rounded wheel arches. Its combination of flat surfaces and straight cut lines "reconciles aggressiveness and softness" Peugeot says.
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RENNES, France -- Peugeot will unveil a 340-hp plug-in hybrid concept car called the Exalt at the Beijing auto show on April 20.

The five-door sedan hints at the future design direction for the brand, which parent PSA/Peugeot-Citroen is pushing upmarket to differentiate it from sister brand Citroen.

The Exalt is powered by 270-hp, 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a rear axle-mounted 50 kW electric motor that provide a combined output of 340 hp.

Peugeot is seeking to take advantage of strong demand for French brands in China and the Exalt reflects elements that future production models in China will likely offer, a Peugeot spokesman told Automotive News Europe.

The Exalt is 4700mm long and weighs 1,700kg. It is built on the same platform as the current 308 and has styling cues from the Onyx supercar prototype that Peugeot unveiled at the 2012 Paris auto show.

Peugeot said the Exalt’s style elements and technologies take cues from traditional and modern influences from French and Chinese cultures.

The steel composites of the exterior were hand-designed to reflect the style of French cars in the 1920s and 1930s. The Chinese-inspired influences include a red material that Peugeot calls “shark skin” covering the car’s rear end.

Peugeot says Chinese craftsmen designed the concept’s upper door panels and seats with black ebony wood selected for its indigenous roots to the Asian continent.

The Exalt shares Peugeot’s iCockpit infotainment system with the 308.

You can reach Bruce Gain at bgain@crain.com.

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