Peugeot showcases e-Legend 'musclecar'

Is retro “making a comeback”? The design trend that peaked in the early Noughties seems to have strongly influenced Peugeot’s eye-catching e-Legend concept, which references the classic 504 Coupe and will make its debut at the 2018 Paris Show.

Peugeot has not offered a coupe in the SA market since the swoopy RC-Z compact sportscar was discontinued, but besides a gaggle of coupe convertible (CC) models (which were not really attractive, nor particularly impressive), there have been eye-catching coupe variants of the 407, 406 and 504.

The 406 and 504 are of particular interest, because they were designed by renowned Italian design house Pininfarina. The former was regarded as ahead of its time when it was sold in the mid-90s, but the latter, which debuted almost 50 years ago, is regarded a classic and serves as inspiration for the e-Legend.

Although the 504 Coupe (right), which inspired the e-Legend, exudes late-'60s Italian elegance, the latter is decidedly more muscular. 

The French marque describes the electric sports car concept as “a real object of desire that promotes the freedom of movement and offers the choice between a never-ending choice of pleasures”, which serves to underline Peugeot’s motto of “#Unboring the future”. But to set aside the woolly marketing speak for a minute, the e-Legend is remarkable in that its styling draws heavily from the 504 2-door, and opens the possibility that Peugeot could be convinced to produce a coupe of the all-new 508.

In fact, the proportions and athletic, squared-off styling cues of the e-Legend is reminiscent of classic ‘60s muscle cars. Over and above the characteristic pairs of twin headlights, the front bumper is seamlessly integrated with the fenders and split in half by a black aluminium beam, a legacy of the 504’s chrome-plated stainless steel bumpers. At the back, the design theme is duplicated, replete with voluptuously flared wheel arches, “3-claw design” tail light clusters and a full-width 3rd brake light.

The concave surfacing of the e-Legend makes its wheel wells look particularly pronounced. Note the muscle-car tail lights!

The e-Legend is said to afford Level 4 autonomous driving technology. When driven in a conventional manner, there are 2 driving modes: Legend features a trio of display screens that are an homage to the dials on the 504’s dashboard; Boost uses a single driver information screen and projects images from the car’s cameras onto digital surfaced inside the car to offer a more immersive experience.

In autonomous modes, which is either Soft (for a relaxing low level of electronic activity) or Sharp, which avails the full range of connectivity and information displays, the e-Legend’s steering wheel retracts under the sound bar in order to fully reveal the curved 49-inch screen (yes, its wider than many people’s living room television sets!). What’s more, the front seats recline and the side armrests deploy automatically, which allows the e-Legend to free up a large storage area and an induction charging area for smartphones. The main controls remain accessible via the centre console, though.

With the e-Legend's steering wheel neatly tucked away when the concept is running in autonomous mode, the driver can use the sun visor as an entertainment screen.

“The occupants can then enjoy their favourite hobbies: play the integrated video game or watch a film either in the curved central screen or in each screen built into the sun visors,” Peugeot claims.

Powered by 100 kWh batteries, the e-Legend’s electric motor produces 340 kW and 800 Nm of torque, which is distributed to all 4 wheels. The French firm claims its concept can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in less than 4 sec and reach a top speed of 220 kph. The car’s projected range is 600 km (according to the WLTP protocol). Fast charging, as well as induction charging, are supported.

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