No Smoke No Poke

Peugeots V8 Diesel Supercar Concept

4th June 2013 | BY NSNP

Back at the Paris Auto Show last year Peugeot turned quite a few heads with it’s Onyx concept car and it turns out that there’s now an actual road going version. Peugeot intend to give a few lucky Francophiles the chance to ride in the copper and carbon super car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Boasting a V8 diesel hybrid engine and drivetrain derived directly from it’s now defunct LeMans racer, this innovative piece of engineering had all the underpinnings of a great road car. So how come Peugeot doesn’t plan to build it? Hit the jump for more pictures and to find out why.

The real problem is that Peugeot doesn’t want a slice of the market, it’s hottest model is the warm RCZ, and to compete with the likes of Lamborghini or Pagani would require a major change in direction for a company better known for it’s hatch backs than hyper cars. Having said that the designer, Sandeep Bhambra, was keen to underline that whilst the Onyx may never make production, a lot of the construction techniques and design cues have already began to filter down to the Peugeots already rolling off the production line.

The interior is a mix of carbon composite, compressed paper and pressure formed wool (felt to you and me). Apparently the steering column and pedals are all adjustable, which is good considering that there is no seat to move closer to the front! According to the designers the minimalist interior was meant to be comfortable as well as forming a protective cocoon, “…it was inspired by an object of everyday life – ‘the egg box’. With a remarkable economy of material, it is perfectly designed through ergonomics and structure to protect its fragile contents. We adapted the concept into an intuitive space with minimum componentry, but where every function fit perfectly to the hand.”We can only speculate that being totally seamless it probably feels like being sat in a big velvety gloved hand. Hopefully a hand that’s not about to scramble some eggs.

The wings are constructed from 0.8mm copper sheets that have been beaten and formed entirely by hand. The skill required to do so was beyond the fabricators at Peugeot so they tracked down an old master who was able to tease the raw untreated copper into the complex curves and sharp creases. The best part is that over time the colour will change naturally as the surface oxidises, just a heads up though if you want to co-ordinate your wardrobe, the colour it changes into is green.

The bottom of the car is totally flat to produce as much downforce as possible along with the pop up rear spoiler when the anchors come on. The exhausts also blow over the rear diffuser to increase the downforce again, much the same way that is done in F1.

As a special “Brucey Bonus” the design team were asked to come up with the continuation of a transport solution based on the criteria of the Onyx car. So here we have a funky three wheeled trike with the copper panel detailing and this utterly gorgeous racing bicycle. You can bet it’ll be mostly lightweight carbon and some kind of unobtainium, and Peugeot has some very respectable credentials when it comes to building racing bikes so it might not be unfeasible to start building them.


Maybe in the future we’ll all travel around in diesel hyper cars made of recycled newspaper and think back to those wacky French designers that did it first. Until then we’ll just have to settle for egg box bucket seats. “Hand me the super glue!”


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