2014 Paris Motor Show: Peugeot’s Hybrid Air, Plug-in Hybrid Concepts Tease Future Models

Like any other motor show around the world, this week’s Paris Motor Show is the perfect place for automakers from all around the world to demonstrate and highlight their latest production vehicles, as well as showcase future car concepts and future automotive technology designed to make their cars cleaner, greener, safer, and more enjoyable.

The Peugeot EXALT plug-in hybrid is the most likely of the three cars to make it into production any time soon.

The Peugeot EXALT plug-in hybrid is the most likely of the three cars to make it into production any time soon.

Being held in its home country, French automaker Peugeot is making a splash at this year’s Paris Motor Show with what it says is the newest lineup of production vehicles we’ve seen for years, including a thirtieth anniversary edition of its iconic 208 GTi hot hatch. But alongside the production vehicles, Peugeot is keen to demonstrate its plans for the future with two plug-in hybrid concept vehicles and one hybrid air technology demonstrator vehicle which it says will help it achieve tough new emissions targets set to come into force in the EU by 2020.

The problem? You’ll not see any of these future cars on the roads any time soon.

First up comes a refreshed version of Peugeot’s EXALT plug-in hybrid concept car. First seen at the Beijing Motor Show in April, the EXALT concept sedan has been given a visual refresh for the Paris Motor Show, making it look far more like a production car than the concept we saw earlier this year.

Under the hood, the EXALT features a 1.6-litre four-cylinder THP engine developing 266 horsepower, married to a 50 kilowatt electric motor. Peugeot says the concept car has three distinct modes of operation — pure electric, hybrid electric and gasoline only — which the car automatically switches between in order to achieve the best possible fuel economy.

Peugeot's QUART plug-in hybrid isn't likely to ever be made, but it's an interesting concept car.

Peugeot’s QUART plug-in hybrid isn’t likely to ever be made, but it’s an interesting concept car.

But in keeping with so many other concept cars we’ve seen over the years, the EXALT’s party piece comes in the form of a tiny “HYbrid-Kick” electric scooter that lives below the main load bay floor. The idea, says Peugeot, is that owners would be able to drive their cars to the city limits, and use the scooter to cover the all-important ‘final mile’ to their offices, resulting in reduced congestion and reduced pollution.

Sadly however, Peugeot says it doesn’t have any firm plans to bring the car to market, although based on feedback from the car’s appearance in Beijing, a production version of the EXALT is now more likely than it once was.

Second — firmly putting the word ‘concept’ into concept car — comes the Peugeot Quartz concept car, something Peugeot says is the “body of an SUV with the cabin of a saloon (sedan).”

Playing on the popular trend towards all-wheel drive, electrified plug-in hybrids, the Quartz is most definitely designed as an urban crossover vehicle rather than an off-road vehicle. Under the hood, there’s the same 1.6 litre engine found in the EXALT, but this time Peugeot has paired it with not one but two 85 kilowatt electric motors to develop a total system output of 493 horsepower.

The QUARTZ plug-in hybrid features a powerful gasoline engine plus two electric motors.

The QUARTZ plug-in hybrid features a powerful gasoline engine plus two electric motors.

Like the EXALT, there are three driving modes, but this time they offer a choice between all-electric, ‘road’ mode — where front motor and engine operate together in tandem to drive the car — and ‘race mode,’ where power is sent to all four wheels via the engine and electric motors.

Range in all electric mode is 31 miles, much like many other all-wheel drive crossover plug-in SUVs we’ve seen, but sadly Peugeot has no plans to bring this car to market either.

Finally, Peugeot is using the Paris Motor Show to demonstrate the latest generation of its prototype HYbrid Air technology. Built into a Peugeot 208, the 208 HYbrid Air 2L Demonstrator concept features a three-cylinder, 1.2 litre gasoline engine married with a compressed air hydraulic system which can be used to provide extra power when required at higher speed, or power the vehicle completely at lower speeds.

Like a plug-in hybrid, the 208 HYbrid Air 2L can recapture kinetic energy on braking and store it as compressed air for later use, but unlike a plug-in hybrid, the car can’t be used in zero emission mode at higher speeds.

The 208 HYbrid Air 2L promises great fuel economy, but won't make it into production any time soon.

The 208 HYbrid Air 2L promises great fuel economy, but won’t make it into production any time soon.

Peugeot claims a mixed-cycle efficiency of 2 litres per 100 kilometres (141 imperial MPG, 117 U.S. MPG) for the 208 HYbrid Air 2L, meaning it meets tough new European fuel economy and emissions standards set for 2020.

Like the other cars demonstrated as future technology vehicles however, Peugeot has no immediate plans to bring the 208 HYbrid Air 2L to market.

Unlike some of its European rivals, Peugeot seems far behind when it comes to developing future plug-in and electrified vehicles — and its lack of concrete production plans for any of the three cars shown makes us wonder if and when we can expect to see three-figure efficiencies from the French automaker.

Is Peugeot losing out on the green vehicle market?

Is Peugeot losing out on the green vehicle market?

Moreover, with rival companies like Renault and Volkswagen already bringing plug-in cars and future fuel vehicles to market, we wonder if Peugeot will be simply too late to benefit.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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