Peugeot loves a wild-looking concept car, and the brand-new Inception is no, well, exception. Despite being a kitted-out electric saloon that’ll do 0-60mph in less than three seconds, it doesn’t have a steering wheel. Read on to find out why…
- Peugeot Inception concept revealed
- Fully electric future saloon
- Dual electric motors produce 680hp
- Accelerates from 0-60mph in three seconds
- 100kWh battery and 500 miles of range
- Self-driving technology
- Radical ‘Hypersquare’ controls
- Previews future production cars
Let’s get one thing out of the way – the Peugeot Inception won’t go into production. Instead, Peugeot says elements from this concept will appear on road cars you will be able to buy in the future.
These forthcoming models will take inspiration from the way the Inception looks, the materials it’s built from and even the unusual way you drive it. Yes, this car doesn’t have a steering wheel – more on that later…
Peugeot Inception concept design
Has Peugeot made a New Year’s resolution to give up curves? The Inception concept certainly makes it look that way… Almost every edge and crease on this car is a near-perfect straight line.
Even the gigantic alloy wheels are peppered with four flat lines instead of conventional curvy spokes – similar to the ones you can get on the new Peugeot 408 but dialed up to 11.
Despite the sci-fi detailing, you’ll still recognise this futuristic four door as a Peugeot thanks to the vertical claw-like headlights and brakelights, and the large shield logo on the front.
Peugeot Inception concept interior
The Inception’s interior looks even wilder than the exterior. Nothing seems to be the shape you’d expect…
The seats look like they’re made from giant discarded Toblerone boxes, the infotainment system is wrapped in a circle around a pillar in front of the driver and the steering wheel has morphed into a rectangular screen with a round hole in each corner. What’s going on?
Well, one of Peugeot’s key messages with the Inception is that cars can be made safer if they’re more intuitive to use. If you’ve ever struggled with fiddly touch-screen menus in your car, you can probably relate…
In Peugeot’s future-focused mind, the solution is to make driving your car feel more like using your phone. As a result, it’s ditched a normal steering wheel and given the Inception a video game-style controller with four touch-sensitive thumbpads that control the car’s major functions.
These replace all the buttons and switches you’d usually find on a dashboard and have been designed so that you can supposedly drive without ever taking your hands off the wheel.
That said, this ‘Hypersquare’ can retract and hide away in the dashboard when you put the car into autonomous ‘Autodrive’ mode. Yes, this technology is still someway off, but retractable steering wheels are all the range in recent concept cars.
Check out Audi’s recent Grandsphere concept to see a similar system in action.
Don’t expect Peugeot to start selling cars with retractable steering wheels anytime soon, but the French firm has confirmed it plans to put some form of ‘Hypersquare’-inspired steering controls into a production car before 2030.
Peugeot Inception concept range and performance
Unlike the bonker steering wheel (sorry, steering square) the Peugeot Inceptions electric drive system is relatively conventional.
It’s powered by two electric motors – one driving the front wheels and another driving the rear wheels. Together these produce almost 680hp. This is enough to blast the Inception from 0-60mph in less than three seconds.
The car features a 100kWh battery (which is larger than the battery in any electric Peugeot you can buy today) that holds enough charge to give the car almost 500 miles of range.
See how this compares to a range of modern electric cars by watching this EV range test video…
The car’s 800-volt electrical system allows for fast charging that can boost the Inception’s range from zero to 18 miles of range in a single minute and from zero to 93 miles in five minutes. Peugeot has also given it wireless charging capabilities, much like modern smartphones.
This all sounds great but remember, this is only a concept car for now. You won’t be able to buy it and it’ll be a few years at least before features like those on the Inception appear in road-going Peugeot cars you can actually buy.
That said, Peugeot has confirmed it plans to launch a car inspired by this wild-looking concept in 2025.
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