Peugeot Exalt Concept presented before the Auto China 2014

Article by Christian A., on April 10, 2014

Peugeot unveiled today the Exalt Concept and promised that we will see this new vehicle live at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show or Auto China 2014, which will open its doors next week. Exalt is described by Peugeot as its ‘Vision of the saloon’ and as you can see from the photos, the concept car takes follows the same design line as the Onyx Concept, revealed by the French carmaker in 2012.

Some of the materials seen on the Onyx Concept are present on the Exalt Concept too as the new car features a woll-based fabric, bare steel, ebony and leather. Apparently, the bare steel bodywork echoes the historical models and it is shaped by hand.

What’s more interesting is that some of the parts are covered in the so-called “shark skin”, a textile which improves the car’s aerodynamic performances as well as fuel consumption. Weighing 1,700 kg, the five-door luxury saloon has a length of 4.7 metres and a height of 1.31 metres. From the side it looks even sexier thanks to the 20-inch wheels.

Regarding the design, the Exalt Concept features stylish headlights, the new signature grill seen on the current Peugeot models, but also a new black light system which improves visibility during low light conditions. According to the press release, the Exalt sits on the EMP2 platform, same used by the Peugeot 308 a.k.a. the European Car of the Year 2014.

Under the hood, there is the same 1.6-liter THP engine that powers the RCZ R, but also a new 67 bhp electric motor found on the rear axle. The petrol engine delivers 266 bhp. Exalt Concept uses the company’s Hybrid4 system that can automatically select the proper driving mode.

This means it can act as a full-electric car for a short period or use both the petrol and the electric motor for top performances. Inside, we spot a steering wheel wrapped in leather that features a wood trim, a digital instrument cluster as well as two touchscreens.

Special sport bucket seats wrapped in leather and a wool-based fabric are also found, together with the black ebony wood trim that comes with a special design motif.

Exterior Design

Peugeot employed bare steel to accentuate the expressive lines on the body of the Peugeot Exalt. The carmaker also employed bare steel on other associated parts like the wheels to accentuate the markings made by milling machines. Bare steel could also be found in all areas that don’t come into contact with the bodies of the passengers.

Meanwhile, the Exalt features warm toned wood trim on the elbows and arm contact points while a natural wool-based 'chiné' mixed fabric trim wraps the dashboard, the door panels as well as the interior roof. A strip made from 3D printing conceals the Hi-Fi system speakers between the wood and fabric trims. It features a structure inspired by from anechoic chambers in which the dihedral partitions reduce acoustic interference.

Occupants, meanwhile, are accommodated on bucket seats made of composite material. These seats incorporate squabs and backrest in chiné mixed fabric while the side areas are trimmed in aged leather.

To optimize the materials employed in the new Exalt, Peugeot employed a simple process derived by the tradition of bespoke tailoring. Peugeot employed clamps in shaping the fabric to avoid off-cuts and waste. This way, the fabric would present surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching. Meanwhile, Peugeot chose leathers without any marking and tanned them to perfection. By optimizing the leather skins, the imperfections in their appearance allow each Exalt to have a unique signature. Then, Peugeot allowed the leathers to age naturally, without using any chemicals.


Serving as the core of the 1,700-kg Peugeot Exalt is a plug-in HYbrid4 drive train delivering a total system output of 340 bhp sent to all four wheels. This hybrid system makes use of Peugeot Sport’s 1.6-liter THP 270-bhp four-cylinder petrol engine on the front engine bay, with a specific output of 170 bhp per liter. Power is sent through six-speed automatic gearbox.

The hybrid system also employs a 50-kW electric motor on the multi-link rear axle, allowing for electric or hybrid operations. Interestingly, this motor could recharge the battery via energy recovery braking. The resistant torque of the electric motor is what allows the Exalt to decelerate or brake into a stop. The kinetic energy that would have been lost as heat through the brake discs and pads is then recovered by the HYbrid4 system and converts it into electricity

Employing intelligent technology, the HYbrid4 system could immediately adapt to the driver's piloting intention by offering three available modes -- pure electric, petrol only and petrol-electric hybrid.

Press Release

Peugeot Exalt Concept

With Exalt, Peugeot unveils its imposing vision of the saloon car by following the approach initiated in 2012 with the Onyx Concept. Exalt aims to please the senses. It stands out at first contact by its radical styling choices and the materials selected.

First seen on Onyx, the distinct line in the bodywork is reinterpreted by the association of bare metal and an efficient textile, Shark Skin, inspired by the unique texture of a shark's skin.

The remarkable acoustic comfort achieved inside permits the discovery of an array of materials - natural wool-based 'chiné' mixed fabric, aged leather, bare steel and ebony - used to finish the cabin. This high end variety of wood takes on its Chinese identity through the design created by the trio PINWU Design agency.

The technology incorporated makes every journey an experience: Peugeot i-Cockpit, black light, Pure Blue air purifier... this art of travel is powered by a petrol HYbrid4 drive train with an output of 340bhp.

"Peugeot's 125 year automobile history is punctuated by models that made their mark on their era. With the Exalt Concept, the Brand asserts its position and writes a new chapter. We are moving forward, resolutely and with confidence." Maxime Picat, Peugeot Brand CEO

The dynamic saloon

"With Exalt, Peugeot unveils its vision of the saloon, combining a sleek design with versatility. This radical approach and original qualities make Exalt instantly desirable." Gilles Vidal, Peugeot Director of Style

With its sleek and athletic lines, Exalt embodies the power of Peugeot design. Sitting on wide tracks and powerfully rounded wheel arches, this five-door saloon expresses its style over a length of 4.70m. The alliance of flat surfaces and straight cut lines reconciles aggressiveness and softness.

Exalt chooses to be radical by deleting all superfluous materials, keeping only what is really useful. Its specification comprises materials from the melding of cultures with French and Chinese expertise. Each one of the materials used has been rigorously selected for their efficiency.

"Peugeot Exalt is athletic, powerful and sleek, incorporating original materials. Its cabin, trimmed in natural materials, is dedicated to comfort and instinctive driving. This innovative concept makes the saloon even more attractive and more versatile, in particular the boot with its unique opening mechanism exposing a large boot." Pierre Paul Mattei, Peugeot Exalt Styling Manager

In homage to the art of the French motor car from the twenties and thirties, its bare steel bodywork is hand-formed by a master panel beater.

One of a kind, it reinterprets the historical cues that make up automobile passion: taut and dynamic lines, a high waist line, a raked windscreen, a low roof (just 1.31m), a very slender profile that conceals a cabin that is still spacious, tightly shaped side panels with basalt fibre sills and 20-inch wheels.

The long bonnet grows out of the particularly expressive front end where the twin headlamps, set in the bumper, integrate the Brand's recognizable signature lighting. In the middle, the powerful grille emerges from the bodywork and provides the backdrop for the doubly symbolic lion. This is because this animal is both the emblem of the Brand and in Chinese culture, the expression of power and prestige. At the bottom, the flow of air supplying the engine is divided by 'fins' carrying the LED direction indicators.

To improve the drag coefficient, the rear of Exalt is trimmed in Shark Skin, an efficient textile. Due to its technical grain structure, this material resulting from bio-mimicry markedly improves the aerodynamic performance of the vehicle, with the aim of reducing fuel consumption.

Its use is elevated by a straight line making the transition between the rear door and the quarter light, the transition between the grey of the steel and the red of the Shark Skin. This material contributes towards Exalt's aerodynamic performance - with an SCx of 0.6 - in association with other elements: an air extractor in the rear bumper, the curve of the roof and the profiled mirrors.

With such remarkable aerodynamics, the mark left by Exalt on its surroundings is essentially visual. A horizontal band in the hollow of the rear spoiler shows the width of the car and the sculpted facet of the lighting signature.

Peugeot Exalt also provides exceptional versatility for a saloon. The boot works with an innovative pantograph mechanism. This arrangement allows maximum opening while needing less space externally. The boot with its integral motorised aperture reveals a boot with a low load sill. Trimmed in wood, it presents a delightful space and facilitates the handling of luggage.

Instinctive driving

"I was inspired by the musical world for this project. Colour is a fundamental notion in it. Notes combine together to create a score which is profoundly moving. This is how technology and tradition merge together in Exalt. In the Peugeot i-Cockpit, a digital instrument panel is side by side with toggle switches. The result is pure and timeless." Alessandro Riga, Peugeot Exalt Interior Stylist

The Peugeot i-Cockpit delivers an intense driving experience dedicated to enjoyment. The small wheel trimmed in leather and 'chiné', a natural wool-based mixed fabric, and the digital instrument panel are intuitively arranged in front of the driver for improved operation and reading. On the extended centre console, two folding touch screens emerge from the dashboard. The upper screen gives access to the on board computer and the Hi-Fi and navigation systems. The second screen presents a permanently visible control bar to provide access to the automatic air conditioning and the Pure Blue system.

Nine Toggle Switches are located on the dashboard, evocative in their design of the world of music. They are arranged in two groups, two to the left of the small steering wheel, seven to the right. This distribution was adopted because of the human brain's ability to easily remember up to seven elements, for their position and their function. Furthermore, the driver is free to associate Toggle Switches with functions, as desired: access to navigation with a particular switch, vehicle settings with another, etc.

Activation of the black light system can also be assigned to one of the Toggle Switches. Built into the headlamps, this system is particularly useful during the transition between day and night. Visibility issues are reduced and driving becomes more relaxed with black light, improving the observation of road markings.

For the comfort of its occupants, Peugeot Exalt is fitted with an innovative air treatment system called Pure Blue. When stationary, with the vehicle empty, Pure Blue purifies the cabin surfaces by spreading bactericides and fungicides. Once the vehicle is moving, an active filter treats the air before it enters the cabin, eliminating VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and fine particles. So in all circumstances the occupants travel in a purified environment.

Visionary design

"Our approach is to have a responsible attitude. Peugeot Exalt is made of raw and natural elements associated with innovative and efficient materials. The idea was to finish the car with useful touches and to do it intelligently with the constant objective of optimising processes to economise on the use of materials and reduce waste. This responsible approach is also applied in the local sourcing of materials, such as black ebony from the tropical forests of South East Asia." Sophie Gazeau, Peugeot Exalt Colours and Materials Stylist

"Peugeot Exalt is irresistibly attractive to all motoring enthusiasts, whatever their origin. This concept combines western elegance and eastern sophistication." Fengyou Gong, Peugeot China Stylist

Peugeot Exalt advances the approach initiated by the Onyx Concept in 2012.

Regarding the work carried out on the body of the vehicle, bare steel is used to accentuate the expressive lines of the vehicle. Associated parts such as the wheels are also in bare steel in order to highlight the markings left by the milling machines.

Steel remains bare in all areas where it does not come into contact with the bodies of the four occupants. At the elbows and arm contact points, Exalt is trimmed in warm toned wood. From the bottom of the windows, it gives way to a natural wool-based 'chiné' mixed fabric used to trim the door panels, the dashboard and the interior roof. Between these two materials, a strip made by 3D printing conceals the speakers of the Hi-Fi system. Its structure draws inspiration from anechoic chambers where the dihedral partitions reduce acoustic interference.

Each occupant has a special welcome on board the Peugeot Exalt, whether the driver or a passenger. The bucket seats made of composite material incorporate seat squabs and backrest in natural wool-based 'chiné' mixed fabric with the side areas in aged leather.

Fabric and leather are worked together in a process that optimises the use of resources. So to avoid off-cuts and waste, the fabric is shaped using clamps. This simple process is inspired by the tradition of fine gentlemen's bespoke tailoring. The fabric then presents surfaces with crisp folds and no stitching. Leather for use in cars has always been selected for the absence of markings then tanned to make it perfect. Optimising the skins, Exalt makes use of imperfections in appearance to make each one a unique signature. Then the leathers are aged naturally, without the use of chemicals.

Black ebony wood has been selected for its rare qualities and its indigenous roots to the Asian continent. It bears a motif designed by the trio PINWU Design agency; combining a lion with bamboo stems and leaves, its creation was entrusted to a Chinese master craftsman using traditional techniques.

Finally, carbon fibre gives way to basalt fibre, a natural composite. Produced by smelting the basalt stone, it reduces the use of petrochemical resources.

High performance drive train

Weighing just 1,700kg, Peugeot Exalt is powered by a plug-in HYbrid4 drive train with a total maximum power of 340bhp shared between the four wheels. The bonnet houses the 1.6-litre THP 270bhp developed by Peugeot Sport. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, this 4-cylinder petrol engine develops a specific power output of nearly 170bhp per litre, making it one of the best in the world.

At the rear, the multi-link rear axle contains a 50kW electric machine for electric or hybrid phases of operation. This machine also intervenes to recharge the battery through energy recovery braking. On deceleration, braking is produced by the resistant torque of the electric machine. In this way the HYbrid4 technology converts into electricity the kinetic energy that would otherwise have been dissipated as heat through the brake discs and pads.

Intelligent technology, HYbrid4 instantly adapts to the driver's wishes by selecting the most suitable mode: pure electric, petrol only, petrol-electric hybrid. The driver feels the intensity of the journey, enjoying Peugeot's expertise in road handling performance.

With Peugeot Exalt, the Brand unveils its imposing vision of the saloon. It demonstrates once again that emotion has always been at the heart of our heritage and genes.

If you liked the article, share on:



It has been nearly eight years since Toyota entered a new era of sports cars when it officially unveiled the production version of the Toyota 86 – also known as...
by - February 27, 2019
The new Audi TT RS – yes, the top version of the German carmaker’s facelifted TT model series – is now officially here. If you could remember, the range-topping TT...
by - February 18, 2019
Nearly half a year ago when McLaren Automotive unveiled the McLaren 600LT Coupe, the British carmaker is now introducing a version that lets its passengers enjoy the thrill of an...
by - January 25, 2019
German carmaker Volkswagen is now making the latest evolution of the new Volkswagen Golf GTI -- the new Golf GTI TCR. First unveiled as a concept at the annual GTI...
by - January 24, 2019
It has been three and a half years since BMW unveiled the sixth generation of the BMW 7 Series. Thus, it is really about to give the 7 Series a...
by - January 17, 2019