The Peugeot Quartz concept is set to take the stage at the 2014 Paris motor show in early October - and it could be the first hint at a future premium SUV from the aspiring French brand.
According to Peugeot the Quartz concept shows how the brand is "blending the heightened expression of a next-generation SUV with the punch of its more high-performance models".
It may look like a puffed up baby SUV from the images, but the Quartz measures 4500 millimetres long and 2060mm wide - roughly the same length as a Mazda CX-5, but broader than a Volkswagen Amarok. And while some concept cars ride on new underpinnings, the Quartz is based on PSA Peugeot Citroen's EMP2 mid-size platform and features composite structural elements and bonded rather than welded panels, further hinting at future production possibilities.
The Quartz is powered by a hybrid drivetrain capable of 368kW of power. It teams a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 199kW and 330Nm (as seen in the Peugeot RCZ-R) with a pair of 85kW electric motors - one at the front axle and one at the rear. The car is said to boast full plug-in capability, with up to 50 kilometres of electric driving range.
The all-wheel drive system is teamed to an air suspension setup that is teamed to a forward-facing camera that can read the surface ahead and adjust bits accordingly. The suspension can also be raised to allow the car 350 millimetres of ground clearance, while perhaps not so ideal for off-roading are the Quartz' 23-inch alloys coated in what appears to be semi-slick Continental rubber.
Inside, the Quartz features a four-seat cabin that is accessed via dual oversized doors and aided by drop-down steps on either side. The stiffened body makes it possible for the large doors, according to Peugeot, while the interior features basalt elements in the centre console, while other areas are constructed using "digitally woven textile". Peugeot claims this world-first allows for "large and complex parts" to be created that "can be used as soon as they come off the machine", meaning no cutting and no waste. According to the brand, the textile is made of polyester by using recycled water bottles.
Peugeot will also show a revised version of the Exalt four-door coupe at the motor show, with Maxime Picat, Peugeot CEO, saying the brand its aspirations to be a premium car producer.
"With the Exalt and Quartz concepts, the brand is showcasing its vision of the high-end automotive market," Picat said. "Peugeot is committed to developing exclusive concepts for its customers through outstanding design, innovative materials and unparalleled sensations."