Peugeot reveals all-wheel-drive electric MX5 sports car
Peugeot has created an all-wheel-drive electric sports car concept filled with technology believed to make better use of the driver’s senses. The compact Fractal, due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in two weeks time, is a sharp-suited four-seat coupé that turns into a convertible if you lift off its roof.
Peugeot reckons it weighs just 1000kg but still packs enough battery cells to give it a range of 280 miles. The twin electric motors, one for each axle, generate 201bhp in total and propel it to 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds, we’re told.
At 3.8m long, the Fractal has more in common with dinky Japanese Kei cars than anything sporty Peugeot has offered before and its very short overhangs front and rear give it an appealing dynamic look.
The sensory trickery includes a detailed head-up display with a holographic function said to impart more depth. It also comes with touch pads in the steering wheel so the thumb-text generation can quickly toggle between functions on the digital dash screen in front of them.
A clever sound-related device ‘throws’ the voice of the satellite navigation system depending on the instruction, for example a right-turn command comes from the right of the car.
Anything that doesn’t need to be acted on right away is projected further forward, while immediate commands seem to be closer. The 13 speakers help here, and that’s before you count the four bass speakers embedded in the seats to allow occupants to ‘feel’ the music.
Peugeot reckons the car would be as much at home in town as on country roads and has given it air springs to raise the ride height by 4cm in urban driving to better clear speed bumps.
On the motorway it hunkers down lower for better aerodynamics. Staying with the senses, Peugeot says it’s also very quiet – even more so than a regular electric car.
The tall 19in wheels for example are 3D printed to achieve acoustically refined shapes that Peugeot says aren’t achievable in regular construction processes.
A lot of the interior is 3D printed too, including the steering wheel. There’s little chance that Peugeot will make the Fractal given the dwindling market for sports cars, but it does show some interesting ideas, even if some of them (smartwatch opening for instance) do seem to be more headline grabbing than genuinely groundbreaking.