Peugeot Quartz Concept packs 500 horses

THIS angry-looking bastard on wheels is the Peugeot Quartz Concept that will rear its twisted, sinister head at the Paris motor show in a couple of weeks.

Its brooding bodywork and baboon-like highlights show its out for blood, packing almost 500 horsepower – but it’s still a hybrid.

While based on the more pedestrian 308 hatch’s platform, the muscular looks of the Quartz come thanks to massive 23-inch alloy wheels and a 4.5m-long body sharpened with hard edges and a trapezoidal theme.

The Quartz design was led by Matthias Hossann, who says it “embraces the lower aspects of an SUV with the upper features of a saloon; the styling reflects the function of each part”.

Skinny LED headlamps pierce through the dark frontage, jutting out from below the rising bonnet line that defines the Quartz’s waist.

Tiny mirrors and gaping lipstick-wrapped intakes help the muscular posture, while the contrasting shades of mineral grey and matt black on the roof, pillars and rear strake (the “Coupe Franche separator”, officially) follow the same trend seen on the Onyx, Exalt and 308 R Concepts, but is far less blingy – more Mad Max than Grand Designs.

The Quartz finishes off its high hips with a stubby tail, with trapezoidal sharp edges continued all the way to the integrated exhaust outlets.

The way the roof spoiler melds into the roof is a particularly classy design touch, with a straked rear hatch for the angry crossover.

Stiff structural materials and bonded panels enabled the designers to ditch the B-pillar for Lambo-style scissor doors to access the cabin.

The external anger is softened inside, where the leather-clad interior has more soothing colours, animal skin covering the floor and roof linings, contrasting with basalt and a Stormtrooper-style mini steering wheel and head-up display.

It will seat four and the crisp, sharp lines are backed up by doors milled out of a single piece of composite, with marks left by the milling machine filled with red lighting. We love it.

This hard-charging crossover has a conscience, though, and it goes beyond the digitally woven textile material inside that’s made from recycled water bottles.

This thing is a hybrid – one that packs a Captain Planet-style 369kW punch – that can travel up to 50km on electric power alone.

The bee in the Quartz’s bonnet is a 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder engine that also sees service in the hard-core Peugeot RCZ-R, as well as a host of other cars including the Citroen DS3 and previous-gen Mini.

For Quartz, it gets the RCZ-R’s 199kW of grunt, the most powerful iteration of the engine, as well as a six-speed auto gearbox to drive the front wheels, but there’s also an 85kW electric motor on the front axle and another 85kW on the rear axle to make this baby all-wheel drive.

Although the car falls just shy of the magical 500bhp mark, we’re not questioning Peugeot on a few horses when it builds a concept that looks tougher than a Breaking Bad drug dealer.

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