Peugeot rediscovers its Mojo?

One concept that didn’t make it to Detroit, for the very good reason that Peugeot’s are no longer sold Stateside, was the SR1. Timed to be shown within a couple of weeks of the company announcing Gilles Vidal as their new design boss with bold ambitions, Peugeot are keen to emulate their sister-company Citroen’s recent reinvention.

Citroen has the slightly richer heritage of classics such as the DS, SM, Light15 and CX to reference, while Peugeot has a somewhat patchier history; many years ago their 402 was a technological tour de force, while there were plenty of durable and reliable plodders in between; it’s not until Pininfarina worked with them to offer flashes of brilliance with the 504 coupe,

and of course the sweet 205.

Though I do have a distinct soft-spot for the presidential 604…

Elements of the SR1 have been likened to Aston-Martin and Maserati…not bad points of reference..

Interior has a ‘hewn-from-solid’ look, technical-grained wood and cockpit references…

Clever soft-top hood sculpted to look like a proper metal roof…

Elements of an exo-skeletal theme at the mirror base and  lower fender, where the surface has been ‘hollowed out’ – breaks up the expanse of surface, and lightens the car…

So the SR1 is a concept, with no reference to a future production model. Apparently. It probably will have influenced the forthcoming D-segment 408 to an extent. The good news is that it looks like Peugeot are responding to the clamour of criticism of their current cars. Sure, the 207 sells in big numbers, and Peugeot can justifiably be proud that they bought the affordable convertible hard-top to market with the 206CC, in many ways a game-changing car. But the fact is that they’ve lost their credibility of late, and are looking somewhat staid next to their ‘creative-technologie’ masters Citroen, and hot-hatch kings Renault. I like the SR1, it has a leanness and a sophisticated aggression that’s missing from the current slightly frumpy Pugs. Peugeot’s used to have a certain sauve refinement to them, a definite place next to their eccentric and innovative Citroen cousins, and their more overtly sporting rivals Renaults, and I think Vidal has captured elements of that here – let’s hope the transition from design study to production is a successful one…

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2 comments

  1. metal roof colors · January 20, 2010

    excellent car here

  2. Nick McGowan · July 8, 2010

    This concept vehicle was on show at the Goodwood Festival last week, it is stunning and at least the size of a DB9. Also on display a hybrid 3008 crossover and their new RCZ coupe model. Leasing deals on the RCZ will soon be available.

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