While Americans are not exactly flocking to buy mainstream hybrid and electric vehicles, the rich and famous are doing just that. In fact, the market for alternative-fuel supercars have never been stronger, with many big name automakers joining the coach industry in offering guilt-free speed.
French automaker Peugeot has revealed key details and some sexy pictures of its Onyx diesel-electric hybrid supercar. Fabuleux!
Say what you will about Peugeot’s other products, the Onyx is quite simply a gorgeous piece of work. From the “double-bubble” canopy to the real copper sheet metal covering the doors that will change over time with patina. I love that feature. The rest of the car gets a matte black finish and carbon fiber. Mmm mm good!
But the heart of the Peugeot Onyx Concept is a 680 horsepower diesel-electric powertrain that derives power from a 3.7 liter V8 engine. This engine is mated to a kinetic energy recovery system similar to those used by the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning Audi R18 etron hybrids. This flywheel hybrid will store energy from braking in a small set of lithium-ion batteries that will provide an extra “boost” of up to 80 horsepower. Other automakers, including Ferrari, have taken this approach to hybrid supercars, forgoing traditional setups for these KERS/flywheel systems.
The interior takes a less-is-more approach, offering some luxury but hardly over cramping the pilot’s compartment. I guess the thought is that drivers should be watching the road and not some silly infotainment system. All told, the less-is-more approach helps keep weight down, allowing this French supercar to weight just 2,425 pounds. That isn’t much more than your Mazda Miata (driver included).
Naturally, Peugeot has no plans to actually produce the Onyx, which is a shame. I’m sure wealthy buyers would line up for this green twist on European supercars.