2012 Peugeot Onyx Concept


(from Peugeot Press Release)  Onyx, an audacious use of materials and efficiency

Quasar, Proxima, Oxia, 907 ... Peugeot Supercars have always attracted attention, be it in the eyes of the young or the experienced. In 2012, the Marque is again creating the dream with the supercar of the 21st century: Onyx.

Shaped using raw materials innovatively, this supercar has been created by enthusiasts who have drawn their inspiration from the world of racing. With its mid-mounted V8 engine, Onyx propels admirers in a world of high performance, controlled at all times through a cockpit with intuitive instrumentation and controls. Beyond its breath-taking beauty, it explores the application of new, primary materials to take efficiency even further.

The passion for innovation has continued over 202 years of historic developments from Peugeot, one of the most established automotive brands in the world. Furthermore, it is also unique in being able to offer a full range of personal mobility transportation, with: bicycles, scooters, cars and light commercial vehicles.

The Onyx Concept Bike and Onyx Concept Scooter are a further expression of that vision in their respective domains.

“Onyx has supercar performance, with extremely aerodynamic lines. It has a unique sculpted shape, styled with innovative materials and an innovative architecture.”
Gilles Vidal, Peugeot Style Director

A sharply dressed design

The body form is sharp with a striking contrast of materials and colours. The wings and doors are handcrafted by a master craftsman from a single sheet of pure copper. Polished like a mirror, the metal remains unprotected to the elements. It will evolve in appearance over time, through a natural patina effect. So Onyx lives! Other body panels are formed in carbon, and painted matt black.

Shaped to be efficiently aerodynamic, the front ‘face’ links the vertical grill and the full LED headlights, to produce a streamlined surface. The airflow is then separated; part penetrates into the heart of the car, flowing within the body, for supplying air to the engine. The other part of the airstream spreads across the car sides and over its ‘double-bubble’ roof into the air intakes.

Onyx ends with a flourish, the tail-lights perpetuate the three-claw light signature characteristic of Peugeot. They also support small vanes, which direct the flow of air over the top and side. They meet as far as possible from the body to reduce interference. With a Cd of 0.30, the aerodynamic footprint of Onyx is inversely proportional to its visual impact.

Linking experience with the future, Onyx incorporates the present by honouring the iconic RCZ with a subtle characteristic ‘double-bubble’ roofline and aluminium roof arches. Fully transparent, revealing the strong carbon structure and the interior, the windows and the roof are made of PMMA (PolyMethyl MethAcrylate), enclosing the cocoon that provides maximum occupant protection.

“Onyx has a svelte silhouette with a sculpted form that goes from smooth, sensual to sharp and technologic. From the very first sketches, I wanted to create a showcase of technological excellence and craftsmanship using high performance aerodynamic cues, ‘black diamond glass house’ and body panels hand-shaped in copper.” Sandeep Bhambra, Exterior Designer of Onyx

The performance supercar

The frame of the car is an innovative piece of design, developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport and the research and development teams. Made of Monolithic carbon, this central structure consists of only 12 parts. It integrates the front with the rear, increasing torsional stiffness and the mass of the structure is optimised, weighing in at only 100kg.

Bolted to the carbon shell, the V8 hybrid HDi FAP 3.7-litre engine, and the suspension were also developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport that has been acquired and validated on circuits around the world. Cooled by twin NACA ducts on the roof, the V8 transmits its 600bhp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential gearbox. This power is delivered in a vehicle of ideal proportions: 4.65m long, 2.20m wide, 1.13m high, weighing just 1,100kg.

Fitted with specially developed Michelin tyres, 275/30 at the front and 345/30 at the rear, with 20'' rims and equipped with double wishbone suspension and in-board springs and damping.

Intelligent, HYbrid4 technology recovers the kinetic energy normally lost during braking. Stored in lithium-ion batteries, this energy is then automatically returned when accelerating, boosting the power with an extra 80bhp. The management of this function is evident to the driver, supplementing the driving enjoyment. Drawing on the experience of a competitive environment, the engine has been tuned specially for the challenges of road application.

With an impressive power-to-weight ratio, at less than 2kg per brake horsepower, Onyx achieves very high performance without affecting the purity and elegance of its style. To do so, Onyx has a flat carbon underside, which creates a powerful ground effect. Thus, the aerodynamic elements are kept at a minimum, by extensions of the carbon structure and the movable rear wing that loads the rear axle during braking, which is provided by four carbon discs; with a diameter of 380mm front and 355mm at the rear.

An innovative driving environment experience

For the driver to gain access into the interior, the doors provide easy access through a sophisticated Pantographic mechanism design with two movements. On opening, the copper outer skin separates from the door frame, hinged on the door’s outer edge, to ensure the body style aspect is maintained.

The interior is bright and natural, from the floor to the roof. The intuitive design and the materials used to construct its structure characteristics are all on view. As with the bodywork, the interior is frugal in its use of materials, resulting in a minimalist interior, in close proximity to the occupants. For the materials chosen and how they should be used and implemented, Onyx explores their life cycles. Onyx demonstrates it is possible to reconcile customer demands, with high performance and preservation of natural resources.

“We sought to use the materials fit for a modern supercar, to ensure the components specified fully justified inclusion. Carbon for its strength and lightweight performance, copper and PMMA for their virtues, felt and paper for their natural elements – all used efficiently.”
Sophie Gazeau, Colour & Materials Designer

Made of felt, compressed and stretched, the cockpit is modelled in a one piece cockpit ‘tub’, with no seams or joins. The carbon structure combined with the felt surface creates a protective cocoon around its occupants, allowing it to function ergonomically while incorporating all the features previously performed by individual components: soundproofing, floor, high console, roof and bucket seats.

The occupants are integral within one homogeneous piece that also reduces weight. Sports comfort has been integrated with the insertion of foam under the felt, in the areas of contact with the body.
Warm and soft, the felt is derived from traditional production techniques. Obtained from boiled wool, with interwoven fibres, this material is completely recyclable and is an excellent thermal insulator. In addition, it improves the quality of the surrounding air by dehumidifying.

“For the interior, it was inspired by an object of everyday life – ‘the egg box’. With a remarkable economy of material, it is perfectly designed through ergonomics and structure to protect its fragile contents. We adapted the concept into an intuitive space with minimum componentry, but where every function fit perfectly to the hand.” Julien Cueff, Interior Designer

On board, the driver has all the controls in full view, without having to take his eyes off the road ahead. The felt trimmed steering wheel falls naturally to the hands to provide an immediate feeling of agility. Within the carbon ‘tub’, aluminium controls drive the functions of the Peugeot Onyx, while the paddles control gear selection.

The dashboard is constructed with of a new type of ‘timber’ – ‘Newspaper Wood’. Produced from used newspapers, assembled and compressed to create a new material from which the parts are made. The illusion is beautiful with veins of colour evident on the surface. On closer inspection the secret is revealed with the appearance of the print type.

The dashboard houses the heads-up display cluster which shows the engine activity and the vehicle’s speed on metal components, appearing and disappearing, like the keys of a piano. The operation of the hybrid activation is indicated by digital displays. Installed in the roof is a selection of aluminium toggle switches that include the start switch for the engine. Just behind it, a reflective blade displays rear view camera images: two located in the mirrors, the third, which provides a panoramic view, positioned on the rear panel.

Also covered in felt, the central console celebrates the expertise of the craft of the master glass blower with a masterpiece in glass crystal. This fuel gauge ‘reservoir’ visually indicates the level of fuel in the tank using etched indicator markings for capacity. It also contains in an inner shell, the smell of this supercar. Released into the cabin by aerators, the fragrance captures the essence of the materials used. Finally, the console features dual-zone air conditioning controls made from milled solid aluminium, where the milling paths in the material are used as grips for the hand.

The beauty of this interior and dynamic experience is captured internally by a camera installed between the headrests. The film is then available to be replayed on a tablet device, inserted into the dashboard facing the passenger and providing an interface for the car infotainment, capturing the experience for posterity.

An efficient superbike, the Onyx Concept Bike

Backed by the considerable experience of Peugeot Cycles in competition, the teams have designed a CLM (Contre La Montre), time trial, bike. This is a timely return to the Marque's roots, in the world of speed and efficiency.

In 1998, a Peugeot bike broke the downhill record on snow, reaching 212.139km/h. The Marque was also the first, in the Tour de France, to use futuristic and revolutionary CLM bikes. In fact, the engineers had already been inspired by the motor industry with work in a wind tunnel, a carbon monocoque frame, profiled wheels, disc brakes.... and, for the cyclist, a plastic coated suit with 0% coefficient of penetration.

For the Onyx Concept Bike, the designers of Peugeot Cycles were inspired by the Onyx Supercar Concept to design a CLM bike, which propels the Marque into the future with a modern and efficient style.

A machine for beating time

The taut and mastered lines of the carbon monocoque frame optimise the aerodynamics of the Onyx Concept Bike. Also made in this material, the 80mm high wheels and the saddle post are profiled for overall performance. Nothing is left to hinder the efficiency of movement. So, the cables, the brakes and the battery are fully integrated. This battery supplies the aircraft wing instrument panel, where the cyclist intuitively finds the electric controls for changing gear.

The riding position can be adjusted with precision so that the athlete becomes at one with their bike. To get the best possible efficiency out of their physical condition, oval-shaped pedals optimise the delivery of power. The cyclist now has a stylish and efficient CLM with which to compete with style in their race against the air and time.

"Designing a Time Trial bike is a real challenge, but Peugeot Cycles carries performance and style in its genes. Drawing on this considerable experience we created the Onyx Concept Bike - a beautiful, high-performance, competitive bike – perfect for the Tour de France."
Sandrine Bouvier, Cycles Product Manager

A hybrid supertrike, the Onyx Concept Scooter

The cities are changing, and with them the products of transportation. At the crossroads, between a motorised two-wheeler and a car, the Onyx Concept Scooter offers an original and innovative alternative on three wheels able to transform into a motorbike or a scooter as needed, as desired.
Borrowing its stylistic codes from the Marque's cars, this two-in-one supertrike reveals an athletic silhouette with sculptural lines and an extra-large 200/50 R17 rear tyre exuding the spirit of hypersport motorbikes.

Of a size suitable for open spaces, as well as for the city, the intelligent design of the Onyx Concept Scooter allows its rider to choose to use it as a motorbike or scooter: so, it offers two configurations reconciling driving pleasure and practicality.

"The world of the scooter is transforming very rapidly around new expectations, new uses and new customers. Peugeot Scooters is driving this development and blurring the boundaries between motorised two- and four-wheeled vehicles."
Thierry Sanseigne, Peugeot Scooters Marketing and Style Director

Hybrid engine

Equipped with a plug-in hybrid engine, this supertrike combines a 400cc internal combustion engine with an electric motor to drive the rear wheel. Due to its combined power of 45kW, it has a top speed of 150km/h (93.2mph) and sets itself apart with an above standard torque output of 58Nm permitting exceptional acceleration.

During deceleration, it recovers energy which is stored in the lithium-ion batteries and delivered during acceleration. Consuming only 2 L/100 km (117.6mpg), it has a range of 30km (18.6miles) at 50km/h (31mph) in ZEV mode, but can cover a combined range of up to 500km (310miles).

Alternative driving choices

At ease on all routes due to the performance of its hybrid engine and exceptional suspension system and wheels, the Onyx Concept Scooter is not just a three-wheel scooter: with two driving positions to choose from, it adds another dimension and reveals a new form of individual transportation which has two modes: Sport or Urban.
In Sport mode, the rider's position is inclined forwards, leaves no room for doubt, it is only for pleasure. With the wrists in contact, feet at the rear, the rider is at one with the Onyx Concept Scooter in a naturally aerodynamic position.
In Urban mode, the rider can adopt a more conventional position, feet forward and head up, better suited to weaving through traffic. The motorbike transforms into a scooter and, as the city demands that a vehicle is above all practical, the designers thought was to add, as a priority, a storage compartment, using the space between the seat and the front of the vehicle. Positioned in the centre
and so lowering the centre of gravity, this removable ClipBox, perfectly integrated in the design of the Onyx Concept Scooter, can hold two helmets easily or the items necessary for a weekend escape.

Matt black and Copper

Irresistible, the Onyx Concept Scooter and Onyx Concept Bike are adorned with matt black paintwork to enhance the elegance and accentuates the style. Touches of copper subtly highlight the technology used.


Present in 160 countries, with 10,000 points of contact, Peugeot combines rigorous design and passion in all its activities.

In 2011, Peugeot achieved 2,114,000 sales worldwide, accelerated its internationalisation in the major growth markets and continued its range enhancement. The Marque is reaffirming its environmental commitment by deploying e-HDi diesel micro-hybridation and launching three full diesel hybrid HYbrid4 models in 2012 .

Peugeot is the only marque to offer a complete mobility product range with cars and utility vehicles, scooters, bicycles and a wide range of services, including the Mu mobility service.

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