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If you think French cars should be all about charm and floating about gently through idyllic cobbled streets then you probably won’t like Peugeot’s Exalt concept.
The five-door hatch, set to be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, is being put forward as a car so aggressive it would sooner stick a bayonet through your guts than buy you a croissant.
That said, we’re not sure Peugeot would be comfortable with us comparing the Exalt to anything resembling a human being. Instead, it seems set on pushing predatory overtones in its description of the car.
The bodywork for instance is apparently “reinterpreted by the association of bare metal and an efficient textile, Shark Skin, inspired by the unique texture of a shark’s skin”.
The video accompanying the release meanwhile wants to let you know that there’s a hell of a lot of lion in this car. Design? Lion! Bodywork? Lion! Interior styling? Wooden lion! Given that a lion adorns Peugeot’s badge, that sort of makes sense.
And if constant reminders of rampaging lions aren’t enough for you, there are also forge, metal-smith and carving scenes aplenty, as the company were trying to suggest that the Exalt was something hewn in the depths of Isengard, rather than a car made using modern assembly methods.
According to Peugeot, the Exalt strips out all superfluous materials, keeping only what is really useful. Under the bonnet, it’s got a 1.6l turbo capable of pushing out 270bhp. At the rear meanwhile, the multi-link rear axle contains a 50 kW electric machine for electric or hybrid phases of operation.
Inside there two folding touch screens that 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.
The dashboard meanwhile, includes nine toggle switches, apparently meant to evoke the world of music in their design. According to Peugeot, what you do with those switches is entirely up to you.
While we don’t think the Exalt will be built exactly as is, we reckon Peugeot could do a lot worse than building a car that at least looks like the Exalt.