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Peugeot previews wild L500 R HYbrid concept

Low and light: The Peugeot L500 R HYbrid concept stands a mere one metre high, and weighs in at a paltry 1000kgs.

Centenary of Indy 500 win prompts Peugeot to release L500 R HYbrid concept


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30 May 2016

PEUGEOT has celebrated the 100th anniversary of its win at the 1916 Indianapolis 500 by releasing a futuristic hybrid supercar concept, dubbed the L500 R HYbrid.

The striking plug-in hybrid sportscar is powered by a pair of electric motors and a petrol engine of unspecified size and configuration to achieve a combined output of 373kW/730Nm, propelling the 1000kg concept from 0-100km/h in just 2.5 seconds.

Stylistically, the eye-popping L500 R HYbrid follows in the footsteps of previously-released Peugeot concepts such as the Onyx, shown at the 2012 Paris motor show, and the Fractal electric concept revealed at last year's Frankfurt show, with its low-slung, wide profile and angular design.

From the front, it features a low-set bonnet with a small grille that sprouts wheel arches out the side to fit large wheels that are more than half the height of the whole car.

The one-metre high profile is emphasised by the almost flat windscreen and extremely narrow side windows, and a long, elongated rear end shows a space-age tail design that is a throwback to the original L45 model that won the 1916 Indianapolis 500.

Peugeot continues the futuristic angle with the design of the interior, with a one-seater cockpit that the French car-maker says is “deliberately designed to form an individual floating capsule enclosed in the bodywork”.

The concept’s i-Cockpit – versions of which are already seen in production Peugeots such as the 308 – features a racing-style steering wheel, as well as a pair of holograms that show information via dual disc displays.

As a throwback to the two-seater L45, Peugeot offers a virtual reality experience, which simulates a co-pilot and an amplified real-time driving experience through a virtual reality headset.

The blue and black colour scheme is also a salute to the original L45, which managed an average speed of 135km/h when it took out the Indy 500 a century ago.

The L500 R HYbrid also pays tribute to the team of young drivers known as the “Charlatans”, who designed a series of racers that found great success on the track including the L76, the first car in the world to use a four-cylinder engine with four valves per cylinder plus a dual overhead camshaft.

Racing the cars that they produced, the Charlatans were able to achieve three victories at the Indy 500 between 1913 and 1919.

Peugeot concept car and technological advance chief Matthias Hossann said the L500 R HYbrid was designed to pay tribute to Peugeot's past racing successes.

“With Peugeot L500 R HYbrid we’re paying tribute to Peugeot racing exploits dating to the early 20th century,” he said.

“Inspired by this spirit of performance and innovation we wanted to convey a sculptural, elegant and technological view of the future of Peugeot motor sport.”

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