Peugeot's hybrid supercar concept hailed for design work

The diesel-electric hybrid model was presented as a potential new range-topping halo model for the French manufacturer in the future.

Evidently the Peugeot Onyx concept has made a lasting impression, as it has now received a prestigious accolade from this year’s International Automobile Festival held earlier this week.

Every year an award festival is hosted by the Grand Prix of the Festival International de l’Automobile to recognise achievements in the automotive world, with winners decided by a panel of experts and enthusiasts from multiple backgrounds including motor sport, fashion, design and media.

For 2013 the Festival’s judging panel has opted to name the Peugeot Onyx concept as having ‘The Best Concept Car Design’.

This accolade follows another award the Onyx received after being voted ‘Favourite Concept Car’ in the world by both readers of Auto Plus and customers of RTL.

These accolades from critics and the public alike not only signals a ringing endorsement for a new range-topping sports car for Peugeot, but also promotes some potential exciting design features for the company’s future production models.

The low-slung mid-engined Peugeot Onyx concept features design elements of both present Peugeot models as well as potential future cars. An example of present model inspiration is the Onyx’s double-bubble roof, in reference to the Peugeot RCZ coupe, which is currently on sale now from £21,995. The coupe is getting a redesign for 2013, which has already been previewed at last year’s Paris Motor Show.

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Some of the more original and dynamic features on the Onyx however include the thin and wide curving headlamps, the downforce-creating flat floor and the lightweight carbon-fibre bodyshell.

The general shape and design of the Onyx’s body has been moulded with the purpose of creating an exceptionally aerodynamic vehicle that can cut through the air as efficiently as some of the world’s top racing cars.

The front face of the Onyx concept unites the vertical grille and full LED lamps, tapered, their surface area reduced to a minimum.

The air flow is then separated; some of it travels through the inside of the bodywork and the structure to supply the engine with extra air, so that it is maintained at a sufficient temperature whilst in use.

The remainder of the flow skims along the concept’s sides and the double-bubble roof. To finish off the Onyx’s rear lamps adopt a light signature with three claws now characteristic of modern production models like the Peugeot 208 supermini. These light signatures also support small spoilers which direct the upper and side flows.

The powertrain inside the Onyx concept car combines a 3.7-litre V8 diesel unit combined with an electric motor. Peugeot has already launched a diesel-electric hybrid car before, the 3008 Hybrid4 crossover available from £27,995. However the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 uses a 2.0-litre engine combined with the electric motor to produce up to 200bhp.

The Onyx on the other hand with its considerably larger V8 would almost certainly produce considerably more power. Although no exact performance figures have actually been revealed for the concept, it is reported the hybrid has the capabilities to cover the 0-62mph sprint in less than three seconds.

This would easily make the Onyx one of the fastest supercars in the world today if it were to enter production in its current form.

The Onyx’s V8 diesel engine has not previously appeared on a production model before but with the success of the concept, it could very well appear on a near-future Peugeot sports car, a prospect sure to whet many appetites.

Any future Peugeot sports car that could be launch will join alongside the rest of the current manufacturer’s range, which is available to UK motorists now from Perrys Peugeot Dealerships in Aylesbury, Blackburn, Bolton, Milton Keynes, Nelson and Portsmouth.