The Peugeot Onyx supercar concept is guaranteed to be one of the stars of the 2012 Paris motor show, with the French manufacturer today revealing the awesome performance potential of the coupe’s V8 diesel hybrid powertrain.

Rather than preview a future production supercar model, the Onyx concept is a development project intended to showcase the imagination and skill of Peugeot’s designers and engineers.

The result is impressive nonetheless, with the oil-burning Onyx concept producing almost as much power as the Lamborghini Aventador.

The mid/rear-mounted 3.7-litre V8 diesel engine produces 447kW (600hp), which is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission.

Peugeot’s Hybrid4 technology recovers kinetic energy during braking and stores it in a lithium-ion battery pack. The energy is released automatically under hard acceleration, boosting power by 60kW for a total output of 507kW.

Peugeot is yet to reveal the Onyx’s sprint time or top speed, but with a total weight of just 1100kg – almost 475kg lighter than the Aventador – it’s guaranteed to fly.

At 4650mm long, 2200mm wide and 1130mm tall, the Peugeot Onyx concept is 130mm shorter, 170mm wider and 6mm taller than the Lambo.

Peugeot’s R&D department developed the car’s carbonfibre chassis in collaboration with Peugeot Sport. The central structure consists of only 12 parts, eliminating connecting plates, improving torsional stiffness, and keeping weight down to just 100kg.

The wings and doors are handcrafted pure copper sheets while the rest of the body is carbonfibre painted matt black.

The cabin is formed as a one-piece pod with no stitching or joins, creating a cocoon-like environment, which Onyx interior designer Julien Cueff said was inspired by an egg carton.

“With remarkable economy of material, it protects very fragile items,” Cueff said.

The dashboard is constructed from ‘newspaper wood’, a material composed of recycled newspaper that is assembled and compressed to create ‘logs’ that are then carved into shape, creating a wood grain effect.

A head-up display houses the standard instrument cluster information, while the hybrid data is displayed on the car’s digital screens.

A series of aluminium toggles sit above the driver’s head in front of a strip displaying images from the three rear-facing cameras: two in the side ‘mirrors’ and the third providing a panoramic view out the rear.

If it all seems a little too good to be true, be sure to check back on September 27 when the Peugeot Onyx concept is unveiled in the flesh on the stand in Paris.

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