French mobility company Peugeot is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year and in achieving the milestone, has announced grandiose grand plans. It's the world’s second oldest car manufacturer (behind Daimler), the tenth largest car manufacturer, and with trucks, cars, motorcycles and bicycles, has the broadest range of mobility products in the world. In prep for its 300th year, it has updated the Lion logo it has been using since 1858, vowed to turn the brand into a style icon, adopted a new signature (Peugeot MOTION & EMOTION), stated its intention to move three places up the world’s auto maker ladder (to seventh) by 2015 with a massive new model offensive, announced a fascinating new credit/online/rental mobility service entitled Mu by Peugeot and took the wraps off a superb new hybrid sports car – the SR1. Happy birfy to Peugeot!
It was in 1810 that Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frédéric Peugeot turned their father’s cereal mill into a steel foundry and took the Peugeot family into the industrial era.
Since 1810, Peugeot has associated its name, and later its Lion emblem, to hand-saws, tools, steel crinoline stays, coffee grinders, salt and pepper grinders, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, cars and light commercial vehicles. To each of these worlds Peugeot has brought passion and innovation, while laying emphasis on its industrial origins based in particular on strong principles and the working of steel.
Now 200 years later, a new chapter in the Peugeot story is about to open with a further evolution of the brand; a new styling direction, a new corporate Lion badge and the launch of Mu by Peugeot, a new service aimed as much at those who don't drive a Peugeot as those that do.
The Lion symbol, which has been associated with Peugeot products since 1858, is evolving too. Created by Peugeot’s own designers, the Lion badge is a focal point on every vehicle. The new Lion is now simpler in design, more dynamic, with a new posture and fluidity. It has a new bi-metallic look through the use of both matt and polished finishes.
Three-dimensional in design for greater modernity it discards the current blue flag background for a stronger effect. The current Peugeot blue colour also becomes darker and is now combined into the new font used to create the Marque’s name.
The first production vehicle to display this new Lion will be the Peugeot RCZ to be launched in Q2, 2010.
Capitalising on its comprehensive range of cars, light commercial vehicles, scooters and cycles, Peugeot has created an original mobility service offer called, Mu by Peugeot.
This unique and innovative service allows everyone, whether or not they own a vehicle, and whether or not they are already a Peugeot customer, to access a range of mobility services, all by means of a pre-paid credit card which can be topped up online. The principle is simple: customers top up their cards by purchasing mobility units directly on the website. These mobility units can then be used in two different ways:
To rent products and accessories from the Peugeot range, such as a private vehicle (207, 308 CC, 3008…) for a weekend away, a bicycle for a family outing, a scooter for getting around town, a commercial vehicle for moving house or an accessory for a special journey: GPS, roof rack, etc…
To purchase services from one of the programmes partners. The card holder can book a plane or train ticket, a hotel room, or organise a personalised journey. Driving lessons, an introduction to eco-friendly driving or advanced driving lessons can also be booked.
The programme has already been trialled successfully in a number of cities in France and among 20,000 group employees. In December 2009, 27 Parisian sites were introduced to the current programme, including Peugeot dealers, Peugeot Scooter dealers, and Peugeot Avenue, the Marque’s ‘shop window’ on the Champs Elysées. Roll-out in a number of other European cities is planned in the near future: Berlin, Rome, London, Brussels and Madrid…
So far, 42% of Mu by Peugeot users make use of this service to experience Peugeot’s range of private vehicles and with Mu by Peugeot, the Marque is forging new relationships with its customers. It is also a service that generates additional point of sale traffic by attracting new customers, and is, therefore, also a means of winning market share for the Marque.
The look of individual products is the visual face of the brand in the eyes of its current and prospective customers. To enable Peugeot to evolve and adapt to future challenges, Peugeot’s current styling direction will change into a new look, typified by the new Peugeot SR1 concept car. The SR1 embodies, according to Peugeot, a new stronger, more extreme and pure expression of the Peugeot Style of tomorrow.
The SR1 incorporates HYbrid4 technology: a front-mounted 160 kW (218 bhp) 1.6 litre THP petrol engine combines with a rear electric motor developing 70 kW (95 bhp). In electric-only mode, the car becomes a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV), with a combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km (57.7 mpg) and just 119 g/km of CO2. When both petrol and electric power is used simultaneously, the four-wheel-drive SR1 develops 230 kW (313 bhp).
The vehicle’s dynamic efficiency is enhanced by a rigid, lightweight structure comprising of a one-piece body incorporating a tubular chassis onto which are mounted the mechanical components and suspension.
Exploiting the best of existing technology to offer road holding worthy of this exceptional concept, the suspension consists of double wishbones with drop links at the front and the rear. For even greater driving precision, the SR1 innovates also through the adoption of four-wheel steering. Motorised links on the rear suspension wishbones control the turning angle of the rear wheels as a function of vehicle speed, giving the vehicle superb agility under all circumstances.
This overall effect blends easily with the design detailing: the design of the lights and the air intakes, the shape of the door mirrors. these elements merge seamlessly with the vehicle’s carbon “skin”. In parallel, some features (“full LED” internal headlamp functions, radiator grille contour); stand out, as if suspended.
The hard top echoes the feel of this intense, high-tech assembly: It uses preformed profile technology derived from the world of sailboat design. It blends with the body, creating the illusion of a Coupé.
The vehicle houses three people with the third rear seat in the middle, behind the two front seats. Entry to this seat is facilitated by the centre console, which slides forward.
The interior ambience blends colours and materials, with strong references to “a past motoring era” combined with “the latest advanced technology”. Inside the vehicle, patinated leather and different grained wood are examples of the use of authentic and natural materials, warm, sensual and charged with history, that blend seamlessly with, “high tech” materials such as nickel and satin-finished chrome.
The construction of the fascia panel, optimised to perfection, gives a visual prominence to certain mechanical components such as the steering column and a number of peripheral controls. Similarly, the instrumentation combines analogue and digital read-outs, giving clear emphasis to every item of information conveyed to the driver. This is the case for instantaneous fuel consumption and vehicle range, displayed on two glass crystal gauges directly in front of the driver.
Another technological innovation is the creation of an exclusive wristwatch, designed in partnership with Bell&Ross;®. This timepiece, with milled inserts of solid aluminium, slots perfectly into a dedicated housing on the fascia panel.
Full details of the SR1 will be released at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, in March.
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