Onyx, an audacious use of materials and efficiency

Quasar, Proxima, Oxia, 907 - Peugeot Supercars have always attracted attention, be it in the eyes of the young or the experienced. In 2012, the Marque is again creating the dream with the supercar of the 21st century: Onyx.

Shaped using raw materials innovatively, this supercar has been created by enthusiasts who have drawn their inspiration from the world of racing. With its mid-mounted V8 engine, Onyx propels admirers in a world of high performance, controlled at all times through a cockpit with intuitive instrumentation and controls. Beyond its breath-taking beauty, it explores the application of new, primary materials to take efficiency even further.

The passion for innovation has continued over 202 years of historic developments from Peugeot, one of the most established automotive brands in the world. Furthermore, it is also unique in being able to offer a full range of personal mobility transportation, with: bicycles, scooters, cars and light commercial vehicles.

The Onyx Concept Bike and Onyx Concept Scooter are a further expression of that vision in their respective domains.

“Onyx has supercar performance, with extremely aerodynamic lines. It has a unique sculpted shape, styled with innovative materials and an innovative architecture.” Gilles Vidal, Peugeot Style Director


A sharply dressed design

A radical silhouette ... with an intense allure

The body form is sharp with a striking contrast of materials and colours. The wings and doors are handcrafted by a master craftsman from a single sheet of pure copper. Polished like a mirror, the metal remains unprotected to the elements. It will evolve in appearance over time, through a natural patina effect. So Onyx lives! Other body panels are formed in carbon, and painted matt black.

Shaped to  be efficiently   aerodynamic,  the  front  ‘face’  links  the  vertical  grill  and  the  full  LED headlights, to produce a streamlined surface. The airflow is then separated; part penetrates into the heart of the car, flowing  within  the body, for supplying  air to the engine. The other  part of the airstream spreads across the car sides and over its ‘double-bubble’ roof into the air intakes.

Onyx ends with a flourish, the tail-lights perpetuate the three-claw  light signature characteristic of Peugeot.  They  also  support  small  vanes, which  direct  the  flow  of  air  over  the  top  and  side.

They  meet  as far  as possible  from  the  body  to  reduce interference.  With  a  Cd of  0.30,  the aerodynamic footprint  of Onyx is inversely proportional  to its visual impact.

Linking experience with the future, Onyx incorporates the present by honouring the iconic RCZ with a  subtle  characteristic  ‘double-bubble’   roofline  and  aluminium   roof  arches.  Fully  transparent, revealing the strong carbon structure and the interior, the windows and the roof are made of PMMA (PolyMethyl  MethAcrylate), enclosing the cocoon that provides maximum occupant protection.

“Onyx has a svelte silhouette with  a sculpted form that  goes from smooth, sensual to sharp and technologic. From the very first sketches, I wanted to create a showcase of technological excellence and craftsmanship  using high  performance aerodynamic  cues, ‘black diamond  glass house’ and body panels hand-shaped in copper.” Sandeep Bhambra, Exterior Designer of Onyx


The performance supercar

The frame of the car is an innovative piece of design, developed with the expertise of Peugeot Sport and the research and development teams. Made of Monolithic carbon, this central structure consists of only 12 parts. It integrates the front with the rear, increasing torsional stiffness and the mass of the structure is optimised, weighing in at only 100kg.

Bolted to the carbon shell, the V8 hybrid HDi FAP 3.7-litre  engine, and the suspension were also developed with  the expertise of Peugeot Sport that  has been acquired and validated  on circuits around the world. Cooled by twin NACA ducts on the roof, the V8 transmits its 600bhp to the rear wheels via a 6-speed sequential gearbox. This power is delivered in a vehicle of ideal proportions:

4.65m long, 2.20m wide, 1.13m high, weighing just 1,100kg.

Fitted with specially developed Michelin tyres, 275/30 at the front and 345/30 at the rear, with 20'' rims and equipped with double wishbone suspension and in-board springs and damping.

Intelligent,  HYbrid4 technology  recovers the kinetic energy normally  lost during braking. Stored in lithium-ion batteries, this energy is then automatically returned when accelerating,  boosting  the power with an extra 80bhp. The management of this function is evident to the driver, supplementing the driving enjoyment.   Drawing on the experience of a competitive  environment,  the engine has been tuned specially for the challenges of road application.

With an impressive power-to-weight ratio, at less than 2kg per brake horsepower, Onyx achieves very high performance without  affecting the purity and elegance of its style. To do so, Onyx has a flat carbon underside, which creates a powerful ground effect. Thus, the aerodynamic elements are kept at a minimum, by extensions of the carbon structure and the movable rear wing that loads the rear axle during braking, which is provided by four carbon discs; with a diameter of 380mm front and355mm at the rear.

An innovative driving environment experience

For the driver to gain access into the interior, the doors provide easy access through a sophisticated Pantographic mechanism design with two movements. On opening, the copper outer skin separates from the door frame, hinged on the door’s outer edge, to ensure the body style aspect is maintained.

The interior is bright and natural, from the floor to the roof. The intuitive design and the materials used to construct its structure characteristics are all on view.  As with the bodywork, the interior is frugal in its use of materials, resulting in a minimalist  interior, in close proximity  to the occupants. For the materials chosen and how they should be used and implemented, Onyx explores their life cycles. Onyx demonstrates it is possible to reconcile customer demands, with high performance and preservation of natural resources.

“We sought to use the materials fit for a modern supercar, to ensure the components specified fully justified inclusion. Carbon for its strength and lightweight  performance, copper and PMMA for their virtues, felt and paper for their natural elements – all used efficiently." Sophie Gazeau, Colour & Materials Designer

Made of felt, compressed and stretched, the cockpit is modelled in a one piece cockpit ‘tub’, with no seams or joins. The carbon structure combined with the felt surface creates a protective cocoon around its occupants, allowing it to function ergonomically  while incorporating all the features previously performed by individual components: soundproofing, floor, high console, roof and bucket seats.

The occupants are integral within one homogeneous piece that also reduces weight. Sports comfort has been integrated with the insertion of foam under the felt, in the areas of contact with the body. Warm  and soft, the felt  is derived from  traditional production  techniques. Obtained  from  boiled wool,  with  interwoven  fibres, this material  is completely  recyclable  and is an excellent thermal insulator. In addition, it improves the quality of the surrounding air by dehumidifying.

“For the interior, it was inspired by an object of everyday life – ‘the egg box’. With  a remarkable economy of material, it is perfectly designed through ergonomics and structure to protect its fragile contents. We adapted the concept into an intuitive space with minimum componentry, but where every function fit perfectly to the hand.” Julien Cueff, Interior Designer

On board, the driver has all the controls in full view, without  having to take his eyes off the road ahead. The felt trimmed steering wheel falls naturally  to the hands to provide an immediate feeling of agility. Within the carbon ‘tub’, aluminium controls drive the functions of the Peugeot Onyx, while the paddles control gear selection.

The dashboard is constructed with of a new type of ‘timber’  – ‘Newspaper Wood’. Produced from used newspapers, assembled and compressed to create a new material  from which the parts are made. The illusion is beautiful with veins of colour evident on the surface. On closer inspection the secret is revealed with the appearance of the print type.

The dashboard  houses the  heads-up  display  cluster  which  shows  the  engine  activity  and  the vehicle’s speed on metal components, appearing and disappearing, like the keys of a piano. The operation of the hybrid activation is indicated by digital displays. Installed in the roof is a selection of aluminium toggle switches that include the start switch for the engine. Just behind it, a reflective blade displays rear view camera images: two located in the mirrors, the third, which provides a panoramic view, positioned on the rear panel.

Also covered in felt, the central  console celebrates the expertise of the craft of the master glass blower with a masterpiece in glass crystal. This fuel gauge ‘reservoir’ visually indicates the level of fuel in the tank using etched indicator markings for capacity. It also contains in an inner shell, the smell of this supercar. Released into the cabin by aerators, the fragrance captures the essence of the materials used. Finally, the console features dual-zone air conditioning  controls made from milled solid aluminium, where the milling paths in the material are used as grips for the hand.

The beauty  of this interior  and dynamic  experience is captured internally  by a camera installed between the headrests. The film is then available to be replayed on a tablet device, inserted into the dashboard facing the passenger and providing an interface for the car infotainment,  capturing the experience for posterity.

An efficient superbike, the Onyx Concept Bike

Backed by the considerable experience of Peugeot Cycles in competition, the teams have designed a CLM (Contre La Montre), time trial, bike. This is a timely return to the Marque's roots, in the world of speed and efficiency.

In 1998, a Peugeot bike broke the downhill record on snow, reaching 212.139km/h. The Marque was also the first,  in the Tour de France, to  use futuristic  and revolutionary  CLM bikes. In fact, the engineers had already been inspired by the motor  industry  with  work in a wind tunnel, a carbon monocoque frame, profiled wheels, disc brakes.... and, for the cyclist, a plastic coated suit with 0% coefficient of penetration.

For the Onyx Concept Bike, the designers of Peugeot Cycles were inspired by the Onyx Supercar Concept to design a CLM bike, which propels the Marque into the future with a modern and efficient style.

A machine for beating time

The taut  and mastered lines of the carbon monocoque frame optimise  the aerodynamics  of the Onyx Concept Bike. Also made in this material,  the 80mm  high wheels and the saddle post are profiled for overall performance. Nothing is left to hinder the efficiency of movement. So, the cables, the brakes and the battery  are fully  integrated. This battery  supplies the aircraft  wing instrument panel, where the cyclist intuitively  finds the electric controls for changing gear.

The riding position can be adjusted with precision so that the athlete becomes at one with their bike. To get the best possible efficiency out of their physical condition, oval-shaped pedals optimise the delivery of power. The cyclist now has a stylish and efficient CLM with which to compete with style in their race against the air and time.

"Designing a Time Trial bike is a real challenge, but Peugeot Cycles carries performance and style in its genes. Drawing on this considerable experience we created the Onyx Concept Bike - a beautiful, high- performance, competitive bike – perfect for the Tour de France." Sandrine Bouvier, Cycles Product Manager

A hybrid supertrike, the Onyx Concept Scooter

The cities are changing, and with them the products of transportation. At the crossroads, between a motorised  two-wheeler  and a car, the  Onyx  Concept Scooter offers  an original  and innovative alternative on three wheels able to transform into a motorbike or a scooter as needed, as desired. Borrowing its stylistic  codes from the Marque's cars, this two-in-one supertrike reveals an athletic silhouette  with  sculptural  lines  and  an  extra-large  200/50  R17 rear  tyre  exuding the  spirit  of hypersport motorbikes.

Of a size suitable for open spaces, as well as for the city, the intelligent  design of the Onyx Concept Scooter allows its rider to choose to use it as a motorbike or scooter: so, it offers two configurations reconciling driving pleasure and practicality.

"The world of the scooter is transforming very rapidly around new expectations, new uses and new customers. Peugeot Scooters is driving  this development and blurring  the boundaries between motorised two- and four-wheeled vehicles." Thierry Sanseigne, Peugeot Scooters Marketing and Style Director

Hybrid engine

Equipped with a plug-in hybrid engine, this supertrike combines a 400cc internal combustion engine with  an electric motor  to drive the rear wheel.   Due to its combined power of 45kW, it has a top speed of 150km/h  (93.2mph) and sets itself apart with an above standard torque output of 58Nm permitting exceptional acceleration.

During deceleration,  it recovers energy which is stored in the lithium-ion batteries and delivered during acceleration. Consuming only 2 L/100 km (117.6mpg), it has a range of 30km (18.6miles) at

50km/h (31mph) in ZEV mode, but can cover a combined range of up to 500km (310miles).

Alternative driving choices

At ease on all routes due to the performance of its hybrid engine and exceptional suspension system and wheels, the Onyx Concept Scooter is not just a three-wheel scooter: with two driving positions to choose from, it adds another dimension and reveals a new form of individual transportation which has two modes: Sport or Urban.

In Sport mode, the rider's  position  is inclined  forwards,  leaves no room  for doubt, it is only  for pleasure. With  the wrists in contact,  feet at the rear, the rider is at one with  the Onyx Concept Scooter in a naturally aerodynamic position.

In Urban mode, the rider can adopt a more conventional position, feet forward and head up, better suited to weaving through traffic. The motorbike transforms into a scooter and, as the city demands that a vehicle is above all practical, the designers thought was to add, as a priority,  a storage compartment, using the space between the seat and the front of the vehicle. Positioned in the centre and so lowering the centre of gravity, this removable ClipBox, perfectly integrated in the design of the Onyx Concept Scooter, can hold  two  helmets  easily or the items  necessary for  a weekend escape.

Matt black and Copper

Irresistible,  the  Onyx  Concept  Scooter  and  Onyx  Concept  Bike  are  adorned  with  matt  black paintwork  to enhance the elegance and accentuates the style. Touches of copper subtly highlight the technology used.


Present in 160 countries, with 10,000 points of contact, Peugeot combines rigorous design and passion in all its activities.

In 2011, Peugeot achieved 2,114,000 sales worldwide, accelerated its internationalisation in the major growth markets and continued its range enhancement. The Marque is reaffirming  its environmental  commitment  by deploying e-HDi diesel micro-hybridation and launching three full diesel hybrid HYbrid4 models in 2012 . Peugeot is the only marque to offer a complete mobility  product range with cars and utility  vehicles, scooters, bicycles and a wide range of services, including the Mu mobility  service.