While the cars Peugeot actually ends up putting on the road may not be so wild, the French manufacturer has a knack for producing brilliantly outlandish concepts. Want a good example? Take a look at the latest one, called ‘Instinct’.
What Instinct does is broach arguably the least favourite subject of the average petrolhead: autonomy. Thankfully though, Peugeot’s vision of our inevitably self-driven future still involves the squishy, warm-blooded creature behind the wheel being of occasional use, with Instinct having both ‘Drive’ and ‘Autonomous’ modes.
In Drive mode, you get full use of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Peugeot has been massively vague on the details (it’s not like this is a working concept), other than to say it’s packing 297bhp.
Switch to Autonomous mode, and the small steering wheel (Peugeot has a thing for dinky helms right now) folds away. You then have different self-driving modes to play with.
Want to get home in maximum comfort? You choose ‘Autonomous Soft’. Happy to sacrifice a little comfort to get home just that little bit quicker? ‘Autonomous Sharp’ is the setting you want. We’d like to imagine ‘Sharp’ would take the racing line at every opportunity, although we suspect that wouldn’t be the case.
Of course, no modern concept would be complete without connectivity - the automotive industry’s current favourite buzzword - and the Instinct has stacks of it. In an example given by Peugeot, it’s suggested that the Instinct will know from your smart watch that you’ve been at the gym, and will deliberately set the car to ‘Autonomous Soft’ to help you relax from a good session of lifting. Bro. Or perhaps the Instinct will have a flick through your diary, check the traffic conditions and tell you to leave earlier, lest you be late. Which you might find either very useful or very intrusive, depending on your trust of the machines.
On a more practical front, the Instinct gets a set of highly adjustable seats which will let you either sit upright for driving, lie completely flat, or somewhere in between. However much you hate the idea of self-driven car, the idea of kicking back to catch 40 winks on a long, boring motorway journey is surely a tantalising prospect.
Like any Peugeot concept worth its salt, the Instinct looks pretty spectacular too. It’s sort of like a futuristic Ferrari GTC4Lusso, with a dash of Tesla Model S at the front. And yes, the doors are suitably bonkers.
Fancy checking it out in the metal? It’ll make its public debut at the World Mobile Congress Barcelona.