Meet the Peugeot SxC concept car. The company describes it as a crossover, and it looks taut in pictures, but in fact it’s longer and wider (though a tad lower) than a Range Rover Sport. It will be revealed at the 2011 Shanghai motor show next week, and it has been completely designed and developed by Peugeot’s Chinese technical centre in the same city. It’s designed to be elegant and refined, and bear more relation to an upmarket saloon than an SUV, while still satisfying the high demand in China for big crossover vehicles. As well as a number of styling cues from recent Peugeots, such as a grille and headlight arrangement similar to the 508 saloon and SR1 concept car, there are typical show car flourishes, too, such as huge 22in alloy wheels and suicide doors, as well as an interior likely to significantly change before production. It runs a four-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain, with a 218bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine powering the front wheels and a 95bhp electric motor the rear. That adds up to a 313bhp total, though low-speed driving allows driving on electric only, a situation that produces zero emissions. And in line with Peugeot’s recent dynamic triumphs with the RCZ Coupe and 508, the SxC promises ‘real driving enjoyment’ and a ‘unique driving experience’. There’s no confirmation of production plans, but with a new Peugeot scheduled to be released in China every year, a substantial crossover or SUV is more than likely. Indeed, sales forecasts for the country are high – 2011 should see 200,000 Chinese Peugeots registered, including 60,000 508s, ten times the amount of saloons and estates the company expects to sell in the UK. The model’s increased size over the outgoing 407 is partly thanks to the demands of the Chinese market.
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