Peu­geot cool on coupé

e-le­gend fu­ture un­cer­tain

Autocar - - THIS WEEK - LAWRENCE AL­LAN

Apro­duc­tion de­ci­sion on the Peu­geot e-le­gend con­cept will be made in 2020 af­ter the main­stream range has been elec­tri­fied, ac­cord­ing to CEO Jean-philippe Im­parato.

Speak­ing at the Paris mo­tor show, where the e-le­gend was mak­ing its de­but, Im­parato said: “We won’t take the de­ci­sion un­til the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion process is com­plete in 2020. Then we will de­cide if we want to make it.”

Im­parato also took to his Twit­ter ac­count to share an on­line pe­ti­tion plead­ing Peu­geot to put the e-le­gend on sale. He claimed: “If we get to 500,000 [sig­na­tures] we might re­ally have to con­sider it”.

The e-le­gend is an elec­tric sport­ing coupé with ad­vanced level four au­ton­o­mous driv­ing fea­tures, but it has taken a great deal of styling in­spi­ra­tion from Peu­geot’s past, in­clud­ing the 504 coupé. The de­sign is aimed at be­ing emo­tive and fun, which, Im­parato claims, is cru­cial if mo­tor­ing is go­ing to have a “non-bor­ing fu­ture”.

He said: “This is not like one of those au­ton­o­mous boxes that are de­signed to take you from A to B on a mo­tor­way that we see from some brands. They are to­tally bor­ing. We are try­ing to ‘un-bor­ing’ the fu­ture by mak­ing au­ton­o­mous fun and giv­ing you the choice to drive.”

Along­side re­veal­ing the brand’s bold elec­tric fu­ture, Peu­geot is also the lat­est man­u­fac­turer to con­firm that it is halt­ing de­vel­op­ment of diesel en­gines un­til the mar­ket sta­bilises and it may re­move them al­to­gether if de­mand con­tin­ues to fall.

Peu­geot’s prod­uct di­rec­tor, Lau­rent Blanchet, told Au­to­car at the Paris mo­tor show that the fu­ture of diesel is “un­cer­tain” and that “we will have to see if the mar­ket is go­ing to delete or give up on diesel”.

The mar­ket share of diese­lengined cars in Eu­ro­pean new car sales has fallen from around 50% at the start of 2017 to ap­prox­i­mately 35%. Fall­out from the Volk­swa­gen Group Diesel­gate emis­sions scan­dal and changes in govern­ment pol­icy are cited as rea­sons.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Im­parato ad­mit­ted that he’s re­gret­ful of Peu­geot’s de­ci­sion to ag­gres­sively pur­sue diesel pow­er­trains.

He said: “In my view, we made a mis­take with diesel. We should have switched pri­or­i­ties sooner. Buy­ers are mov­ing away from diesels and we may need to do the same. How­ever, if Paris de­cides to ban diesels we will be ready.”

Elec­tric e-le­gend made its de­but at the Paris show xus modis susam, volor mo es­si­taer­ciam as­secta

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