With preparations nearing completion for the commercial launch of the Peugeot iOn, which, like the Citroen C-Zero, is basically a French version of the Mitsubishi i MiEV electric vehicle, Peugeot has provided a glimpse of just how sexy an electric vehicle can be. Celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, the company has unveiled its latest concept car called the EX1 that is based upon the body of the SR1 concept car unveiled earlier this year. Although it’s still a concept car, Peugeot says the striking two-seater roadster has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start.
The EX1 uses two electric motors, one on each axle, each with a peak output of 125 kW (250 kW/340 bhp in total), and an immediately available constant maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear. Aside from optimizing weight distribution, this setup also allows for four wheel drive. The front suspension consists of a drop link double wishbone arrangement, while the rear suspension comprises of a single “swinging arm” linked to a centrally mounted shock absorber which is connected via a rocker arm to provide a variable damping rate.
The vehicle incorporates the “floating” front grille and flowing contours first seen on the SR1 and aluminum components adorning the door surrounds are a reference to the RCZ and BB1. Peugeot says the design of the EX1 is based on the shape of a water droplet with a rear section built around two closely set rear wheels. To optimize weight and rigidity, the monocoque body structure is manufactured from a carbon/honeycomb composite and incorporates all of the mounting points for the car’s mechanical components. Dimensions of just 0.9m (2.95ft) high and 1.77m (5.8ft) wide contribute to the car’s overall efficiency, low center of gravity and improved aerodynamics.
The driver and passenger enter the passenger compartment through a reverse-opening door that gives access to the two sports bucket seats. The on-board instrumentation includes instrument panel screens for each occupant set amongst “pure” metals and embossed leather. As well as the harnesses inside the car, the occupants are protected by a roll-over protection bar included in the carbon passenger cell. Additionally, Peugeot says the wind deflector allows the car to be driven on a daily basis without a helmet.
The car’s lightness, weight distribution and aerodynamics, torque and power of its two electric motors and its high-output lithium-ion battery all combine to give the EX1 lightning acceleration which the company says can exceed 1G of gravitational force.
Peugeot says the car has already broken several world records for acceleration from a standing start that have been approved by the International Automobile Federation, but doesn’t specify exactly what these are. Only saying they were established by Nicholas Vanier, the famous French explorer and film-maker (“The Last Trapper”, “Wolf”) who drove the EX1 concept car.
Between now and the end of the year Peugeot will be taking the EX1 to China to pursue other world records. The car will also be making its debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show where we’ll be elbowing our way through the expected salivating throng looking to get a closer look to the vehicle. For now we’ll have to make do with the images provided by Peugeot. Click through to the gallery to check them out – but be careful not to drool on your keyboard.
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