Peugeot Instinct concept hits Geneva with full autonomy

Four-seater hybrid could display a new design direction for the French brand, plus smart autonomous tech

Peugeot has produced some weird and wonderful concept cars over the years. Who could forget the stunning Oxia, the gorgeous Onyx or (the one we really crave) the 308 R Hybrid? The French company’s designers have once again been set loose just in time for the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and this is the product – the Instinct Concept.

Peugeot claims the Instinct represents one word in particular – freedom. Some might consider that an odd choice, however, as the Instinct’s focus is very firmly on autonomous driving, something which keen drivers the world over are dreading becoming commonplace. The new concept will offer full Level 5 autonomy, but Peugeot says it’s also designed to be driven.

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The Instinct is a four-seat shooting brake style vehicle, and is powered by a 297bhp plug-in hybrid system. A range of driving modes allows the driver to be as involved in the driving process as they like.

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Style was clearly at the forefront of the designer’s minds, as the angular lines and smart detailing show. At the front, distinctive ultra-slim headlights could represent the future of Peugeot’s light signature – and also contain cameras working in conjunction with the car’s automated technologies.

Those same front lights are actually mobile – sliding forwards at speed to create front downforce. They join the other bit of active aero on the car – a thin spoiler which extends automatically at speeds of around 55mph.

All four of the Instincts occupants get their own sophisticated, electrically operated seat – and access to high definition displays. The driver sits in an extreme evolution of Peugeot’s i-Cockpit, with a steering wheel that folds away during fully autonomous mode.

Peugeot’s also become the first manufacturer to hook up with the Internet of Things (IoT) via a technology developed by Samsung called Artik Cloud. It’s a connectivity service which supports the next generation of personal devices – from mobile phones to fitness monitors, but even including connected household items like fridges and thermostats.

> Peugeot Fractal concept

This could mean controlling your entire home from one of the Instinct concept’s touch screens – adjusting temperature, switching lights on and off, or perhaps even checking the food in your fridge and placing an order before you reach home. The car’s own technology would link in, too – continuing the music you were listening to from car to home, for example, or suggesting you park further from your destination if you’ve fallen behind on your fitness regime.

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Given the advanced nature of the Peugeot Instinct concept, we’re unlikely to see anything like a production model for many years yet. However, it’s good to know that even with the advent of autonomous tech, manufacturers are aware that deep down, we get pleasure from driving – and won’t be giving that up anytime soon.

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