PEUGEOT is showcasing the EXALT concept in a new livery at the Paris Motor Show. The car body features shades of grey that segue from the bare steel covering the majority of the exterior to the distinctive Shark Skin rear end. Inside, the Newspaper Wood finish borrows (literally) from the pages of major business dailies. The tailgate features an ingenious opening mechanism and provides easy access to the HYbrid-kick, an innovative electric scooter, stowed below the boot bottom. With the EXALT, PEUGEOT continues to build on the imposing vision of the sedan it first unveiled with the ONYX concept in 2012. A vision embodied by materials that achieve a blend of balance, local sourcing, recycling-based production and more. This new automotive experience is powered by a petrol HYbrid4 drive train with an output of 340hp.
“PEUGEOT’s 125-year automobile history is punctuated by models that made a mark on their era. With the EXALT concept, the brand has reasserted its position and opened a new chapter. We are moving forward, resolutely, with confidence,” Maxime Picat, PEUGEOT Brand CEO
A dynamic hatchback
With its sleek, athletic lines, the EXALT embodies all the power of PEUGEOT design. Sitting on wide tracks with powerfully rounded wheel arches, the five-door hatchback expresses its style over a length of 4.70m, combining flat surfaces and straight-cut lines to strike the perfect balance between aggressiveness and softness. The EXALT is unabashedly radical, stripped of any superfluous materials to retain only what is really useful. All materials have been carefully selected with an eye to efficiency.
“The PEUGEOT EXALT is athletic, powerful and sleek, sporting an array of original materials. Its cabin, trimmed in natural materials, is dedicated to comfort and instinctive driving. This innovative concept makes the sedan even more attractive and more versatile, in particular the tailgate, with its unique opening mechanism and large boot,” Pierre Paul Mattei, PEUGEOT EXALT Styling Manager
In homage to the art of the French motor car from the twenties and thirties, the car’s bare steel bodywork is hand-formed by a master panel beater.
The EXALT is one of a kind, offering a fresh take on time-honoured traits synonymous with automobile passion: taut, dynamic lines, a high waist line, a raked windscreen, a low roof (just 1.31m), a very slender profile that conceals a nonetheless spacious cabin, tightly shaped side panels with basalt-fibre sills and 20-inch wheels.
The long bonnet grows out of a particularly expressive front end, where the twin headlamps, set in the bumper, integrate the brand’s recognisable signature lighting. In the middle, the powerful grille emerges from the bodywork and provides the backdrop for the lion. At the bottom, the flow of air supplying the engine is divided by fins housing the LED indicators.
To improve the drag coefficient, the rear of the EXALT is trimmed in “Shark Skin”, an efficient textile that draws on biomimicry to create a technical grain structure that markedly improves the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle and reduces fuel consumption. This feature is highlighted by a clear line between the rear door and the quarter light that creates a sophisticated tone-on-tone transition between the bare steel and the grey of the Shark Skin. The result is a finish notably different from the version seen in Beijing.
The material contributes to the EXALT’s aerodynamic performance—with a SCx of 0.6—alongside other elements, including an air extractor in the rear bumper, the curve of the roof and the profiled mirrors.
With such remarkable aerodynamics, the EXALT’s impact on its surroundings is visual more than anything else, enhanced by a horizontal band in the hollow of the rear spoiler showing the width of the car and the sculpted facet of the lighting signature.
“With the EXALT, PEUGEOT has unveiled its vision of the sedan, combining a sleek design with versatility. This radical approach and the EXALT’s original qualities make it instantly desirable,” Gilles Vidal, PEUGEOT Director of Style
The PEUGEOT EXALT also offers exceptional versatility for a sedan. The tailgate features an innovative pantograph mechanism, which allows maximum opening while needing less space externally. The tailgate and integral motorised hobby flap reveals a boot with a low load sill, providing easy access to the HYbrid-kick concept, a foldaway electric scooter stowed below the boot floor that represents an ideal addition when it comes to covering last-mile mobility. Its ease of use makes getting around town so much easier.
“PEUGEOT holds a unique position in the market with its range of two-, three- and four-wheeled solutions. Combining an electric scooter with our EXALT concept demonstrates PEUGEOT’s ability to offer an integrated, innovative solution to cover last-mile mobility needs,” Xavier Peugeot, PEUGEOT Product Director
“On this project, I was inspired by the world of music, in which harmony is a fundamental notion. Notes come together to create a score that is profoundly moving. This is how technology and tradition merge together in the EXALT. In the PEUGEOT i-Cockpit, the raised digital instrument panel combines with a number of toggle switches. The result is pure, timeless,” Alessandro Riga, PEUGEOT EXALT interior stylist.
The PEUGEOT i-Cockpit delivers an intense driving experience dedicated to enjoyment. The small wheel trimmed in leather and chiné—a natural wool-based mixed fabric—and the digital instrument panel are intuitively arranged in front of the driver to improve operation and visibility. On the extended centre console, two folding touchscreens emerge from the dashboard. The upper screen gives access to the on-board computer and the Hi-Fi and navigation systems. The second screen presents a permanently visible control bar to provide access to the automatic air conditioning and the “Pure Blue” system.
The dashboard features nine toggle switches, the design of which borrows from the world of music. They are arranged in two groups: two to the left of the small steering wheel; seven to the right. This layout was adopted because of the human brain’s ability to easily remember up to seven items, with regard to position and function. The driver is also free to assign functions to the switches, as desired: access to navigation with one switch, vehicle settings with another, etc.
Activation of the black light system can also be assigned to one of the toggle switches. Built into the headlamps, this system is particularly useful when driving at dawn or dusk: visibility issues are reduced and driving becomes more relaxed with black light improving the clarity of road markings.
For the comfort of its occupants, the PEUGEOT EXALT is fitted with an innovative air treatment system called Pure Blue. When the vehicle is stationary and unoccupied, Pure Blue emits bactericides and fungicides to purify the cabin surfaces. Once the vehicle is moving, an active filter treats the air before it enters the cabin, eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOC) and fine particles. As a result, driver and passengers can always travel in a purified environment.
“The PEUGEOT EXALT features raw and natural elements paired with innovative and efficient materials. The idea was to finish the car with useful touches and to do so intelligently, with a view to constantly optimising processes to economise on the use of materials and reduce waste. This responsible approach is also applied in the local sourcing of materials, such as replacing the Asian ebony used in China with Newspaper Wood in Europe,” Sophie Gazeau, PEUGEOT EXALT Colours and Materials Stylist
PEUGEOT EXALT advances the approach initiated by the ONYX concept in 2012.
In a nod to the work carried out on the body of the vehicle, bare steel is used to accentuate the car’s expressive lines. Associated parts such as the wheels are also kept bare to highlight the markings left by the milling machines.
Steel remains bare in all areas where it does not come into contact with the bodies of the four occupants. At the elbows and arm contact points, the EXALT is trimmed in warm toned wood. From the bottom of the windows, it gives way to a natural wool-based chiné fabric used to trim the door panels, the dashboard and the interior roof. Between these two materials, a 3D-printed strip conceals the speakers of the Hi-Fi system. Its structure draws inspiration from anechoic chambers where the dihedral partitions reduce acoustic interference.
The PEUGEOT EXALT provides the utmost comfort for passengers and driver alike. The bucket seats made of composite material feature seat squabs and backrest in chiné fabric with side areas in aged leather.
Fabric and leather are worked together in a process that optimises the use of resources. To avoid off-cuts and waste, the fabric is shaped using clamps. This simple process takes inspiration from the tradition of the finest gentlemen’s tailoring to create surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching.
Leather used in cars is traditionally selected for the absence of markings then tanned to make it flawless. The EXALT concept optimises the skins, drawing on these apparent imperfections to make each a unique signature. Then the leathers are aged naturally, without the use of chemicals.
As part of the campaign to ensure sourcing as close as possible to relevant markets, in China, the EXALT used ebony, chosen because of its plentiful growth in Asia; in Europe, this material has been replaced by “Newspaper Wood”, which, as the name implies, is made from recycled newspapers. This new type of wood has evolved since its initial use on the ONYX concept. It is now obtained by recycling business papers, creating a distinctive salmon-pink hue.
Finally, carbon fibre gives way to basalt fibre, a natural composite. Produced by smelting the stone of the same name, basalt fibre reduces the use of petrochemical resources.
High-performance drive train
Weighing just 1,700kg, the PEUGEOT EXALT is powered by a plug-in HYbrid4 drive train with a total maximum power of 340hp shared between the four wheels.
The chiselled bonnet houses the 1.6L THP 270hp engine developed by PEUGEOT Sport. Coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox, this four-cylinder petrol engine develops a specific power output of nearly 170 hp per litre, making it one of the best in the world.
The multi-link rear axle contains a 50 kW electric motor for electric or hybrid phases of operation. This motor is also used to recharge the battery through energy-recovery braking.
On deceleration, braking is produced by the resistant torque of the electric motor. In this way HYbrid4 technology draws electricity from kinetic energy that would otherwise be dissipated as heat through the brake discs and pads.
HYbrid4 is smart technology able to instantly adapt to the driver’s wishes by selecting the most suitable mode: all-electric, petrol-only or petrol-electric hybrid, allowing the driver to feel the intensity of the journey and savour PEUGEOT’s know-how in road performance.
With the PEUGEOT EXALT, the brand has unveiled its imposing vision of the sedan, demonstrating once again that emotion is an integral part of its heritage and genes.