Peugeot revealed Thursday a retro-futuristic electric vehicle concept, which it calls the e-Legend.
The e-Legend is styled to resemble the classic Peugeot 504, which was built from 1968 through 1983 in France. Production continued abroad, with Nigeria producing the 504 through 2006. By the end of its nearly 40-year run, the 504 existed in several body styles including four-door sedans, a wagon, a pickup, a convertible, and of course, the coupe.
Billed as an autonomous electric vehicle, the e-Legend concept features multiple autonomous driving modes. In Soft mode, the car emphasizes comfort and tones down its barrage of information on its 180-degree wraparound screens, while in Sharp mode it unleashes a torrent of information on the occupants, be it a high volume of social media content or their daily schedules.
But the e-Legend isn't entirely about autonomy. Its retractable steering wheel allows for the use of two manual driving modes: Legend and Boost. The cruising-oriented former projects 504-esque dials onto the screens with a wood paneling background, while the latter goes for "dynamic and stimulating driving."
Peugeot's description of the Boost setting may be cliche corporate jargon, but it wouldn't be unfair to call the e-Legend's driving experience stimulating. Its all-wheel-drive electric drivetrain makes 456 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, capable of catapulting the e-Legend from zero to 60 in under four seconds. Its 100 kilowatt-hour battery promises 373 miles (600 kilometers) of range, with 311 of those miles (500 kilometers) rechargeable in 25 minutes on a fast-charging system. Peugeot does not mention what wattage such a fast-charge system would need to be, though napkin math suggests it to be a 200-kilowatt unit.
"Peugeot e-Legend concept is not just a technological manifesto," stated Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato in the automaker's press release. "This is the vision of a brand, Peugeot, actively focused on an optimistic and ultra-desirable future. For Peugeot, autonomous and electric are synonymous with even stronger sensations. Boredom will never be part of our DNA."
Peugeot will present the e-Legend concept to the public at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October.
As with all concept cars (especially electric these days), the above figures may seem like fanciful promises meant to attract headlines, but none of Peugeot's claims are especially outlandish. Tesla has already proven the performance figures feasible with electric vehicles, and 373 miles of range from a 100 kWh battery isn't anything groundbreaking. Sure, it's more than anything on the market today, but that level of efficiency (3.73 miles per battery kWh) is already a reality on vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, which putters around at 3.75 mi/kWh.
Because Peugeot doesn't sell cars in the United States, and it has yet to confirm the e-Legend to be anything more than a one-off concept, it's understandable why someone would look at the car and think, "Cool, but we'll never see it stateside." Remember, however, that Peugeot's parent company PSA Groupe is in the midst of a U.S. market comeback, having opened a new regional headquarters in Atlanta this January and launched its "Free2Move" mobility app in certain markets earlier this year.
Sometime in 2019, PSA plans to decide which of its car marques will be sold in the States. Solely because of the e-Legend, we're praying it's Peugeot, but we certainly wouldn't mind a DS-rebadged version coming our way.