French manufacturers have always been keen to push the limits of design and invention and during this process an often mind blowing range of concept cars and designs are tried out. Peugeot have been very busy at this over the last few decades and have certainly come up with some cars you simply would never think of as a Peugeot and a good few you would wish went into production.
If you ever wanted a slice of the 80s then here you are. With scissor opening doors, red leather interior and pure supercar looks this concept was a serious car. Produced in pure white it boasted a ridiculous 600 bhp from a 4 cylinder turbo charged engine and four wheel drive which was very very cutting edge at the time for a performance car. It was launched at the Paris motor show in 1984 and although some of the body styling and interior were always just a concept the engines and running gear actually went on to be used in a world beating rally car. That essentially means this car could have happened…in the 80s! It would have out performed many Italian legends of the time with only four cylinders, who said Peugeot were not cutting edge?
The Oxia was actually the third concept car Peugeot launched in the 80s that boasted a massive 600 bhp, this seemed to be an amount of power the French design teams thought was either just about good enough or more likely so massive that no one else would try and bother to out do it. The Oxia was a pure and total supercar, it was mid engined and had a 2.9 litre turbo charged V6, it looked like a Lamborghini Diablo with a very thin stretched Peugeot grille and badge on the front. And just in case you thought a mere 600 bhp wasn’t exciting enough it was also four wheel drive and just so happened to also have four wheel steering for good measure.
Flash forward to 1997 and the concept car on the table was a very different offering indeed. Not so much supercar as super yacht, well more of just a boat really. The Runabout was basically a Peugeot 806 with the back taken off and a largely useless bit of teak deck built in. The general nautical theme ran right through the car too and this included the marketing line that went with it “pleasure boating”.
Concept cars are about pushing the limits and finding out what works so that it can then be used in models that do actually go on sale. Sometimes things get pushed to far, sometimes not far enough. It is fair to say the Runabout may have been a step too far into a world that simply did not exist. But the use of four wheel drive in an 80s supercar turned out to be a perfect snap shot of the future, as did using a smaller turbo charged engine when everyone around you was using massive v12 power units.
Peugoet may make great family cars but many people, even Peugoet owners sometimes, forget how inventive they are and they have just shown this again with the new Fractal concept being launched this month at the Frankfurt motor show. Let’s hope we see lots more crazy and not so crazy concept cars over the next 20 years they are not only fun they are very impressive indeed.