Peugeot and Kia Ramp Up EV Concept Battle

It’s rapidly looking like being an EV shoot-out at next month’s Geneva International Motor Show with both Peugeot and Kia announcing sport focused concepts.

The French automaker is providing lots of detail for its arguably less radical car a hybrid powered 508 Peugeot Sport sedan. That’s because it’s simply a souped-up version of the existing 508 hybrid except one that claims a 0-62mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds while emitting only 49 g/km of C02 on the WLTP system.

Its performance has been achieved courtesy of an advanced PureTech 200 gasoline engine, a 110bhp electric motor driving the front wheels and a separate 200bhp electric motor powering the rear wheels providing all-wheel drive. Top speed will be mechanically limited to 155 mph. Its 11.8kWh battery claims a zero-emission range of up to 31 miles when switched to 100% electric mode.

It also boasts a front bumper that incorporates a 3D-printed valance designed to direct incoming air towards the radiator and new rear diffuser to improve aerodynamics. In keeping with its sporting pretensions, the cabin is swathed in leather and Alcantara upholstery and surface trims.

Jean-Philippe Imparato, Peugeot CEO, said: “Electrification provides a marvelous opportunity to develop new driving sensations. We are creating a ‘neo-performance’, new energy sources, new features, new territories, new challenges.”

Meanwhile, there are only sketchy details of Kia’s new EV concept with a moody picture of the lights and front profile to whet the appetite. Designed at Kia’s European design center in Frankfurt it’s clear the company is focusing on the western markets of Europe and possibly even the US.

Gregory Guillaume, vice-president of design for Kia Motors Europe, said: “Automotive design is about capturing the heart and making it beat that bit faster for that bit longer  and we believe that there’s absolutely no reason why that should change simply because the car is electric.

“We imagined designing an all-electric car that not only answered consumer concerns around range, performance, recharging networks and driving dynamism but one that also gave you goose bumps when you looked at it and made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you drove it.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_


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