Peugeot will shortly give a glimpse of what to expect from its first generation of bespoke electric cars, with a concept car that dramatically rethinks its traditional exterior and interior design cues.
Called the Inception concept, in reference to a number of features and technologies it will showcase for the first time, it will arrive just before Peugeot gets under way with what CEO Linda Jackson calls the firm’s ‘electric year’ in 2023.
By 2024, Peugeot will offer an electrified version of each of its models, with the final additions to line-up including 3008 and 5008 hybrids – using new-to-Stellantis electric hardware with improved efficiency. Next year, it will also launch the more powerful e-208 GT supermini, roll out the e-308 and e-308 SW and start selling the 408 with a choice of two PHEV powertrains.
The Inception will give strong clues to what future electrified Peugeot models – more specifically those designed ground-up to be pure-electric – will look like, beginning from 2025.
It will, Jackson told reporters, be “more than just a symbolic gesture”, and will embody Peugeot’s ambition to “reinvent the automotive experience for more pleasure”.
Peugeot has the opportunity to reinvent three key strains of its customer experience as it gears up for all-out electrification, said Jackson: spacial organisation, driving gestures and the “experiences in and around the car”.
The Inception will show how it plans to achieve this, most notably with a variation on its trademark i-Cockpit interior layout which “evolves several steps” beyond that featured in the brand’s current cars. It remains unclear how different this will be, but company bosses are keen that future Peugeot models retain the “sensation of driving” and the “allure” that it says are core to its current models.
The Inception will not necessarily preview a production car, but rather will explore a number of themes Peugeot will pursue on next-generation products, rather like Dacia’s off-road-focused Manifesto concept, making its debut in Paris. “It will project the values of the brand”, said Jackson, stopping short of confirming any further details, beyond that it will be based on Stellantis hardware – presumably the STLA Medium architecture for C-D segment passenger EVs.
Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Peugeot’s head of design Matthias Hossann told Autocar that Peugeot wants to “keep the feel of driving sensation” in its next-generation cars, and will seek to maintain attractive proportions – while exploring new ways of defining the segments of the car it sells.