Although car design has evolved massively over the decades, today’s vehicles still don’t quite look like the models that authors and filmmakers imagined we would be driving more than two decades into the 21st century. But if its presentation at CES in Las Vegas is anything to go by, Peugeot’s out to change that

The French carmaker revealed its Inception concept, promising an “electric and electrifying” car that’s tech-focused and human-centred. With feline looks, a square steering wheel with touch controls and seats that look like loungers, the concept finally looks like the car of the future (check out the best 3D modelling software if you want to create your own concept).

Presented at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 by CEO Linda Jackson, the Peugeot Inception is a sleek, cat-like saloon show car. With a design approach dubbed “feline future”, the five-metre vehicle is intended to offer a lounge instead of a cabin and an “extended fit arm chair” Instead of a seat.

It has a 100kWh battery, which Peugeot says has a range of 800km (497 miles), two compact electric motors and a combined output  of close to 670bhp. There’s a pair of upright, three-bar running lights at the front and a blanked-off grille housing sensors for driver assistance. AI-driven tech will recognise a driver as they approach, say hello and set up the seat position, temperature, driving mode and multimedia preferences.

Peugeot Inception car design concept

(Image credit: Peugeot)

But where things most depart from convention is in the cabin, or ‘lounge’. Wider seats are said to feature tech that adapts to body shapes to offer more comfort, while the huge windscreen creates a sense of space. There finishing touches include a range of textures with moulded textiles, raw steel, velvet and 3D-printed materials.

As for the driving experience, we were introduced to Hypersquare, a rectangular steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls on each corner. These allow the driver to keep their hands on the wheel while adjusting functions. Behind the Hypersquare (actually a rectangle) the smart Halo Cluster displays data at eye level to improve forward visibility.

Peugeot Inception car design concept

Hypersquare, Peugeot’s revolutionary ‘tablet-like’ control panel (Image credit: Peugeot)

The design certainly diverges from convention, and it will be interesting to see hat features make it through to production models. Peugeot says it’s aiming to introduce the Hypersquare to its production models from 2026, while were told that the Inception design concept will begin to inspire Peugeot cars big and small from 2025. For more car news from CES, see BMW’s colour-changing car concept.

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