To celebrate Peugeot’s 200th anniversary and to highlight the enormous possibilities offered by the use of electric power, Peugeot’s engineers and stylists have created the EX1, a performance car of the future.
It is dedicated entirely to providing a whole new driving sensation only achievable with electric power and, at the same time, present responsible environmental credentials. Its original architecture is based on Peugeot’s previous charismatic concept cars like the Asphalte and the 20Cup, whilst its method of propulsion benefits from all of the Marque’s historical expertise in the field of electric vehicles.
At a time when the electric motor once again is becoming a real alternative for Peugeot, the EX1 opens up a whole new dimension of raw driving emotion. The pure styling of this two-seater roadster is in keeping with its mechanical design; like a kind of “exoskeleton”, it highlights the light-weight nature that has guided the creation of the vehicle. The design and styling of the body incorporates Peugeot’s new stylistic design codes, first seen on the SR1 concept car, with its “floating” front grille and flowing body contours. Polished aluminium detailing adorns the door surrounds in a reference to the recently launched RCZ Coupé and the BB1 electric urban concept vehicle.
Unlike the design of a “classic” roadster, the EX1 concept car is instead based around an architecture which is shaped like a “water droplet”, with the rear wheels set close together. This chosen design enables the size of the EX1’s passenger compartment to be reduced for optimal weight distribution and help reduce the overall vehicle weight.
The suspension consists of a drop link double wishbone arrangement at the front and a single “swinging arm” linked to a centrally mounted shock absorber which is connected via a rocker arm to provide a variable damping rate, at the rear. The monocoque body structure is manufactured from a carbon/honeycomb composite to optimise weight and rigidity. It also incorporates all of the mounting points for the car’s mechanical components.
The EX1 concept car is powered by two electric motors, one located at the front and the other at the rear of the vehicle. They produce a maximum combined peak power output of 340bhp and a constant maximum torque of 177lb ft at the front and rear. This chosen mechanical architecture not only optimises the vehicles weight distribution but also gives the vehicle four wheel drive capabilities.
The driver and passenger climb into the passenger compartment through a reverse opening door to gain access to the two sports bucket seats. This unusual arrangement instantly immerses the occupants in a futuristic and hi-tec environment, as does the on-board instrumentation (instrument panel screens for each occupant showing in particular the vehicle’s instantaneous performance) and the chosen materials (e.g. “pure” metals and embossed leather). The driver, seated at ground level in a driving position similar to a racing car (legs outstretched), drives the vehicle by using two control handles, providing an experience similar to that of an aircraft pilot or when playing a video game.
As well as the presence of safety harnesses inside the car, the occupants are also protected by the height of the carbon passenger cell, which has sufficient overhead clearance to include a roll-over protection bar. Similarly, the wind deflector, perfectly integrated in terms of style, allows the car to be driven on a daily basis without a helmet. On racing circuits, where a helmet must be worn, Peugeot Style has teamed up with Ruby helmets to produce two specific helmet designs.
The EX1 concept car benefits from a level of performance that enables it not only to leave behind the city centre, the preferred territory of electric vehicles, but also to challenge a range of performance acceleration records. Its lightness, weight distribution and aerodynamics, the torque and power of its two electric motors and its high-output lithium-ion battery are just some of the characteristics that make this a car capable of lightning acceleration that can exceed 1g of gravitational force.
The EX1 concept car has already broken the following international records (set under FIA guidelines) for an electric-powered terrestrial vehicle: standing starts over 1/8 of a mile (in 8.89s), ¼ of a mile (in 14.4s), 500 m (in 16.81s), ½ of a mile (in 23.85s), 1000 m (in 28.16s), and 1 mile (in 41.09s). This series of records was established, by Nicolas Vanier, the famous French explorer and film-maker who drove the EX1 concept car during its record breaking drives. Between now and the end of the year, China, the world’s largest car market, will become the stage for the EX1 to pursue other world records. Watch this space….
Peugeot stylists are renowned for their attention to detail, a reputation and rigour down to the smallest detail of their work… and this extends to designing the “garage” in which the EX1 is presented. The EX1’s “garage” is more than just protection – it is designed also to be an independent recharging station which is free of any “cabling” constraints. Its roof contains solar panels that use daylight energy to create electricity which is then stored in a “storage” battery, ready to recharge the EX1 when required. A battery charger adapted to operate on a range of renewable energy sources is also available.
The EX1 will be on display for all to see at Peugeot Avenue, 136 Avenue des Champs-Elysees, Paris from the 22nd September to the 14th November 2010.