Peugeot's Onyx Diesel PHEV Will Be Tested At The Goodwood Festival


peugeot-onyxThe Peugeot Onyx diesel plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will race at the United kingdom’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, a hill climbing event in England. Equipped with a mid-mounted 3.7 liter, V8 600 HP HDi FAP diesel engine as well as an 80 horsepower electric motor, this plug-in hybrid is more than just a pretty face.

This hybrid car‘s body is constructed of carbon fiber, while the doors and fenders are constructed of polished copper. The brilliance of newly polished copper is truly amazing, though it will tarnish very quickly. Still, it’d be nice to see more raw materials used in supercar designs. This unique look really helps the Onyx stand out, even among other supercar concepts.

The six-speed transmission transmits power from the V8 engine to the rear wheels, and the HYbrid4 technology uses energy captured from regenerative braking to enhance the vehicle’s acceleration. With a¬†power to weight ratio of 4.4 pounds per HP, the Onyx should provide plenty of performance. But will the French automaker dare to build it?

The Goodwood Festival of Speed has attracted all sorts of alt-fuel vehicles, including the Infiniti Emerg-e and the 1.0 liter Ford EcoBoost racer. With the Onyx onboard will other hybrid supercar concepts join the Goodwood field?


About the Author

loves attending and writing about/photographing events, and he writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, automobiles, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography.

  • Jason Carpp

    While I can’t say that I care for its styling, I’d definitely go for the diesel engine. Hopefully, enough people like it. I like the diesel engine. I would think it’d deliver better fuel economy, or more low end torque than a similar gasoline engine. Both appeal to me.

    • Mark Penrice

      Hello and welcome to the world outside of whatever rock you’ve been under during the last decade and a half of the automotive diesel power revolution…

      The main unusual thing about this Pug turbodiesel is firstly how large it is, and secondly its specific output. Cut it in four and you could have a 925cc V-twin producing 150 horsepower. That’s insane. You’d normally expect about a third of that from a middle-of-the-range TD, certainly no more than half as much from the top end models.

      One has to wonder what kind of effect that extreme tuning will have had on the low-end torque and the turbo lag, but really with that much displacement, and the electric motor to fill in the gaps, it doesn’t matter so much.

      (For comparison, I’ve been looking at replacing my car and daydreaming about a Skoda Fabia vRs … 1.9 TDi, stock output 130hp, can be chiptuned to 160 and an insane 380NM… so that’s only a little more than 150, but it’s also more than twice the displacement and cylinders than our putative V2… thing is, Peugeot haven’t said anything about the torque output – to match the chipped Skoda cc-for-cc, the Onyx would need to produce a very healthy 740NM, at around 2000-2500rpm…
      Oh, and of course, 160hp is still “only” twice what the electric motor makes, so that thing could cover a lot of mistakes…)

      • Jason Carpp

        Crazy is right. I’ve heard of diesel engine in a compact car. The VW Jetta is available with a diesel engine.

        • Mark Penrice

          I know this may sound like I’m repeating myself in the lede and then a bit later on, but … Hi, Jason, and WELCOME TO THE LATE NINETIES.

          Diesel engines in road cars, never mind compacts (which I have a very hard time considering the Jetta as, any more), not exactly a new or unusual concept. I’ve got a ten-year-old TD parked outside my grandmother’s flat right now, awaiting the attentions of a jobbing mechanic friend of my uncle’s – and if he can’t fix it (having developed serious, metallic-sounding problems at the tail end of nearly 140,000 miles of constant abuse), it’s going to be scrapped with not very much payback. It didn’t exactly attract crowds of baffled onlookers wherever it went, even when brand new.

          And in fact, diesels in large or luxury cars, not an amazing new thing either. Mercedes have arguably been doing it longest of all. They make up a HUGE proportion of BMW, Mercedes and Audi’s output now, as well as VW, all the frenchies, some of the italians and japanese, etc…

          Now, sports cars are a less well tapped market, though the concept of a “sports diesel” is also not new, although it evidencely hasn’t percolated worldwide yet. Still, the VW GTDi and others (like the Skoda vRs, higher tuned Renaults and Audis, PSAs and those GMs using their engines, etc) have been kicking around for at least a decade now and are well established. Tuner engine of choice in the small-ish VW scene (Polos, Golfs) appears to be the 1.9 litre GT130, which can be chipped to almost 190hp* (or 100hp/litre, respectable in anyone’s book) before you even get on to the physical mods.

          (* I know I said 160 before; I’ve since seen dyno runs which register over 180 at the wheels, and that was just from a chip, no mods to the intake/exhaust, injector, turbo, intercooler, pump, compression, cams etc. Power output is basically flat between 3500 and 4500, as is the torque from about 1750 to 3750, and when driven gently it still returns the original fifty-plus MPG economy. And you can have it with a DPF on the back so it’s not spewing clouds of black soot. Fast, flexible, and economic, what’s not to like?)

          What point were you trying to make, there, anyway? ime confus.

          • Jason Carpp

            I know that Mercedes-Benz has offered diesel cars for over 70 yrs. I’ve never owned or driven a Mercedes Diesel. But I consider them one of my favourites. I’d buy one myself if I could afford one.

  • Mark Penrice

    The 1.0 Ecoboost counts as alternative fuel, when it runs on ordinary petrol/gasoline and can now be found installed in perfectly normal Ford automobiles? Erm.

    As for the Onyx, it’s a shame, but it won’t be built. It’s a variant on a retrofuturistic hypercar design (remember the Quantum?) Peugeot keep trotting out every 10 years or so but never ever do anything with. They’re a very staid company with very staid products – boring, poorly advanced cars for boring, uninterested people, and the occasional wimpy scooter from time to time – and the last truly interesting thing they built was the 205 GTi. They had a chance to make an impact with the innovative diesel-electric 4WD hybrid powertrain in the 408 station wagon, maybe trickling it down to their smaller models that people actually buy in any kind of bulk, but it seems to have fizzled.

    If instead there was a Renault badge on the front of that car, it might be in with at least a sniff of a chance of being built, as it’s very much their sort of thing at the moment (with the Wind, Twizy, etc), but they’re aiming to go fully electric rather than hybrid.

    Which overall means that if you see something of this ilk coming out of France any time soon, it’ll be wearing the double chevron of Peugeot’s PSA group partner, Citroen. This kind of attractively styled, thoroughly quirky, eco friendly car is right up their alley, and they did show off some sporty, designers-wet-dream coupe recently. Problem is, they probably haven’t got the cash for it right now…

  • Mark Penrice

    I know I shouldn’t rise to idiots who use terms like “sand-(N)”, but … did you even bother looking much at the article? How does a French car, one that can probably run on waste cooking oil without much trouble, running at the Goodwood Festival, even come close to qualifying for that slur?

    And this sort of tech is your potential answer to drab Toyota econoboxes and expensive gazleen, so I dunno what you’re crying about. That car itself probably manages an easy 30mpg (US) or better. Chop the engine in half and you’ve got yourself a very nice 1.8 litre straight-four sticking out 300 BHP but still capable of returning 50+ mpg.

  • UncleB

    Aluminium panels anodized to deep orange/gold more appropriate? One day a diesel aux. gen. for fully electrics in remote locations? Meanwhile realize most gasoline stations have 220 V – plenty or even a partial charge in short order – the electrics have arrived and will soon surpass the gasoline and diesel models. three moving part power trains key to their success. Air pollution free higher (80%) efficiencies.

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