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Peugeot Unveils Revolutionary Electric Concept: EX1

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On: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 3:07PM | By: Chris Weiss

Peugeot Unveils Revolutionary Electric Concept: EX1

With cars like the Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid and Fisker Karma coming to market over the next couple years, hybrids and electrics promise to become more than just practical, utilitarian tools; they'll soon be as fun, good looking and sporty as the greater gasoline market. Maybe more so, if Peugeot has anything to say about it. The French automaker recently pulled cloth off its EX1 concept, a four-wheel-drive electric vehicle that promises to break EV acceleration records right and left.

The dramatic EX1 features a tear-drop-shaped body that is wider in front than in back, helping to limit resistance and improve performance. A quick look, and the EX1 appears to be a motorcycle or go kart tucked away in a car's front end. It's crafted from a carbon honeycomb monocoque chassis and weighs just 2,200 pounds at the curb.

Each axle houses a 170-hp electric motor, giving the car a total output of 340 horses and 177 lb-ft. With its light, slippery profile, the EX1 promises to offer a 0 to 62 mph time that ducks under the 3-second mark. Peugeot hasn't quite reached that goal, but it has sped up to 161 mph in the EV.

Another interesting element of the EX1 is that it uses a motorcycle-like swing-arm to suspend both rear wheels. The front wheels get their spring from double wishbone suspension. The seats are integrated into the doors, which open in reverse.

According to Autocar magazine, Peugeot has been winding the days preceding Paris down by attempting to break EV accleration records. While falling short of 2.9 seconds to 62 mph, Peugeot has pushed its latest toy up to 3.55 seconds, as well as sending five other EV records out to FIA for verification.

The EX1 concept was officially designed in recognition of Peugeot's 200th birthday. It will appear on Peugeot's dais at the Paris Motor Show.

As radical and exciting a design as the EX1 is, it does bring some bad news: Peugeot has no plans of producing anything like it, and it appears to be a one-off concept. However, design director Gilles Vidal did leave the door open just a tiny crack: "We don’t expect to productionise it, but if there is enough interest in the car, it wouldn’t be impossible as a very low volume special.”

That's how the Porsche 918 Spyder got off the ground, so here's to hoping.

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