Peugeot has taken the wraps off the e-Legend Concept, an all-electric sports car with advanced autonomous features that is designed to look like the 504 coupe. It has been created to prove that cars in the future can be exciting.
Scheduled to make its public debut at the upcoming Paris motor show, it will mark 50 years after the Peugeot launched the popular 504 coupe in international markets. The e-Legend takes numerous styling cues from that machine, including the twin headlights at the front.
Peugeot design boss Gilles Vidal said the e-Legend was designed to deliberately contrast with its last autonomous concept, the Instinct. “That took the shape of a future-orientated machine. We wanted to push that logic further, and talk about a non-boring future in which we don’t have to have slow-looking cars that are sleek and minimalistic. Humans are emotional animals, so let’s have exciting things.”
The French firm was also determined to ensure the machine wasn’t simply a retro design and gave it sharper lines that seem to be inspired by American muscle cars. Matthias Houssan, Peugeot’s concept car design boss, said: “This was the most difficult concept car I’ve had to design, and it took time to find the right balance between our heritage and the 504 feeling, and more futuristic ingredients, without going too much into retro design.”
Under the retro styling, the e-Legend is meant to showcase future technologies. It is powered by an electric powertrain featuring twin motors mounted on each axle, which produce a total of 462hp and 800Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels. It has a 0-100kph time of less than four seconds, with a top speed of 220kph. The e-Legend features a 100kWh battery, located under the floor, which is claimed to offer a range of more than 600km.
Two drive modes are on offer – the Legend mode features three smartphone-sized driver display screens that mimic the three dials on the 504 coupe’s dashboard. There is also a Boost mode that uses a single driver information screen and projects images from the car’s cameras onto digital surfaced inside the car is meant to offer a more immersive experience. The seats are clothed in blue interwoven velvet, which also echoes the 504 coupe.
Peugeot has designed the e-Legend for level four autonomous driving and features a new version of the French carmaker’s i-Cockpit system, which retracts into the minimalist dash to offer more space.
Most of the dash has been replaced by a Focal soundbar, under which sits a 49-inch curved screen that functions as an information display during normal mode and a screen for using media (videos and more) in autonomous mode. It also has a built-in video game: a version of Pong, which was developed around the same time as the 504 coupe.
Houssan said he hoped the e-Legend could “reassure people who are not comfortable” with autonomous technology. He added: “When you see this, it still looks likes a more driver-orientated car. And the interior is designed to be warm and comfortable, and easy to switch from autonomous to driving mode.”
The e-Legend has been developed purely as a concept machine, with no plans to put it into production. However, Housssan said that “many elements” on the car could be used on future production models.
“Nothing is free when we design a concept car,” he said. “We develop them in the same studio as the production cars, so it feeds all our other projects.”