The French manufacturers are bringing out the big guns for the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, with Peugeot joining the Citroen DS 5LS R Concept with the sultry Exalt Concept you see before you.
The Exalt Concept is an evolution of the beautiful Onyx model that was revealed back in 2012. The pair share similar sharp crease lines along the flanks, an equally menacing road presence and the innovative use of natural materials throughout the cockpit.
Powered by 1.6-litre THP engine that develops 270bhp and a 50Kw motor at the rear wheels, the Exalt produces an impressive 340bhp in total, which is channelled through a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The hybrid set-up ensures almost instantaneous torque – thanks to the electric motor – and impressive fuel economy figures. These are aided by the fact the stunning saloon weighs just 1700kg, despite featuring half a rainforest inside the cabin.
Wood plays a vital role in the Exalt's cockpit, covering most surfaces that are typically decked in plastics on Peugeot's road-going models but a natural wool-based fabric also covers the steering wheel and door panels.
To avoid cut-offs and material wastage, the Exalt's designers have employed techniques more often seen in men's tailoring, shaping fabrics using clamps to ensure surfaces present crisp folds and no stitching.
Run your hand along the exterior and you will sense something fishy; that's because the hand-shaped bare-steel bodywork has been trimmed in 'Shark Skin' – a specially designed material that is said to improve the vehicle's aerodynamic performance.
Although this is merely a concept for now, it has been created in conjunction with the PINWU Design agency in China, further signalling Peugeot's intent to appeal to this lucrative market.