Recombu Cars went hands on with the Peugeot Fractal and spoke with design director Gilles Vidal about what the stunning all-electric concept is about.
Concept cars are usually worth a fortune, one of a kind and kept hidden under lock and key in a secure location until the manufacturer is ready to unveil them to the world at some big motor show.
So it was surprising to say the least when Peugeot invited five journalists to not just see its latest creation, but also go for a spin inside a bland warehouse in Paris. Suffice to say, we hastily packed our bags and boarded the Eurostar to see what the £2million creation was all about.
Peugeot's Fractal is designed to give us a hint at future models, although the French manufacturer declined to say what elements, if any, will filter down. The all-electric powertrain? Futuristic hatchback looks? Copper dashboard? Your guess is as good as ours.
To be honest, Peugeot has made some of the world's coolest concepts (Onyx, anyone?) but the general public is yet to see some of the goodness in production form beyond the 'Coupe Franche' two-colour paintjobs.
That's is a crying shame when the Fractal – whether it has the roof on or off – looks the business. It's meaty, aggressive and bears more than a passing resemblance to cars from Peugeot's impressive rally heritage.
The Fractal is jam-packed with neat touches like the pulsing rear lights that go from red to blue when charging, suicide doors (doors that open the wrong way) and a 3D-printed textured floor that works to deaden sound in the cockpit.
Technology is a huge part of the concept, too, with the main focus on your ear. Not only does the car have its own soundtrack created by Amon Tobin, it uses directional sound. For instance, as you come up to a turning the navigation instructions are made to sound like they are coming from where the turning is, becoming louder as it gets closer.
Meanwhile it features an infotainment user-interface that's basically what would happen if Tron was designed by a fashion house. Slick is an understatement, while the holographic-esque ability to overlay information in layers is a neat idea.
Then there's chunky old-school volume button in the central console that is a deliberate nod to HiFi. Because sometimes the old-fashioned ways are the best.
Peugeot design director Gilles Vidal was kind enough to explain the thinking behind the car, where the manufacturer is heading and whether the Fractal will ever make production. Watch the video to find out the answers. Then why not read our everything you need to know.