The Peugeot Inception concept is an EV knife aimed straight at the future

The Peugeot Inception concept is an EV knife aimed straight at the future

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The French automaker says its new EV concept, revealed this week at CES, heralds a new direction for the brand. The radical design will influence a future electric lineup that’s expected to show up in 2025.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

French automaker Peugeot revealed its Inception concept, a deadly looking electric car that’s all sharp angles and brutalist designs. The concept, which was announced at CES this week, will inspire a lineup of future EVs that will start making their way to customers in 2025.

Stellantis, which owns Peugeot, had a heavy docket at this year’s CES, including a Chrysler cockpit concept and a battery-electric Ram 1500 truck that borrows a lot from the world of muscle cars. But the Peugeot Inception was arguably the most CES-y of all the announcements, with its rectangular steering wheel, hyper-minimal dashboard, and color-shifting interior. There’s even a device inside the car called “the Halo Cluster” with a 360-degree screen, for some reason.

[Slaps Halo Cluster] That’s some good CES, baby!

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Image: Peugeot

Peugeot says the Inception will ride on top of the STLA Large platform, which is (you guessed it) a larger version of Stellantis’ modular EV platforms. (There’s also an STLA Small, STLA Medium, and STLA Frame, in case you were wondering.)

The Inception measures 16.4 feet (5 meters) long but just 4.39 (1.34 m) tall. Its 800-volt architecture means it can add up to 93 miles (150 km) of range in just five minutes of charging. It’s also packing a 100kWh battery, but Peugeot claims it can reach 497 miles (800 kilometers) of range on a single charge. (EPA ratings are likely to be less.) That’s equal to “the distance from Paris to Marseille or Brussels to Berlin” on a single charge, the automaker boasts. That’s très bien in my book.

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Image: Peugeot

If the Inception looks fast, that’s because it is. A dual-motor all-wheel drive setup gives the concept 680 horsepower (500kW) of giddyup and a zero to 62mph (100km/h) acceleration in less than three seconds.

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Image: Peugeot

The next-generation i-Cockpit features a new Hypersquare control system, which may grab the award for “most ridiculous-sounding and unnecessary brand names.” (Sorry, Hyperscreen.) The Hypersquare is basically Peugeot’s infotainment screen where you can control mundane things like navigation and media while also serving as the actual steering wheel (steering rectangle?) for the whole vehicle.

The Hyperquare operates through a steer-by-wire system, where there’s no mechanical connection between the steering column and the wheels. But the Hyperscreen can also retract when the vehicle transitions to fully autonomous driving, replaced by a large panoramic screen that rises up out of the floor.

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Image: Peugeot

There are a lot of other interesting ideas ping-ponging around inside this concept, including a window glaze used by NASA astronauts for their visors and a “tech bar” that runs across the outside of the door to communicate messages to approaching passengers.

Despite having the appearance of a deadly weapon, Peugeot says it wants the Inception to be “user-friendly” and is ultimately meant to deliver an “optimistic” message about the future of the brand. Just watch your fingers around those edges.

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Andrew J. Hawkins

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