Peugeot’s been crafting a number of hybrid show cars as of late, but it isn't hard to argue that its latest -- the SR1 roadster concept -- is the best-looking.
That shapely styling, vaguely reminiscent of a late-model 404 cabriolet, reportedly points to the automaker’s future design direction. The SR1 thankfully strays away from the company’s current theme, which typically favors elongated headlamps and an oversized grille. Instead, the long hood and flowing fenders exude elegance, as do the sculpted door panels, which dramatically blend into the rear fenders. C’est magnifique.
That body is as advanced as it is attractive. Built atop a lithe tubular chassis, the SR1’s body is -- with the exception of the doors, retractable roof, and hood -- one piece, constructed entirely from plastic. Peugeot claims such a construction not only reduces weight and stiffens the structure, but, depending on the polymer used, could be quite recyclable.
If that isn’t green enough, take a look under the hood. The SR1 makes use of Peugeot’s HYbrid4 system, which it showcased in the RC HYbrid4 and Prologue HYbrid4 concepts. Here, a 1.6-liter turbcharged I-4 powers the front wheels, while a 95-hp (70 kW) electric motor drives the rear axle. When the two power sources operate simultaneously, the SR1 puts out 313 hp. The SR1 can be operated as a front-wheel, rear-wheel, or four-wheel-drive vehicle.
Peugeot will publicly unveil the SR1 concept at the 2010 Geneva motor show this March. Although the company has not said if a version of the SR1 will go into production, Peugeot has said that the HYbrid4 drivetrain will make it into a production vehicle.