This is the story of a project that seems to have turned its back on any input from market strategists. The car in question is the Peugeot RC Coupé concept car and the story emerges from an Auto & Design interview with the director of Peugeot’s Style Centre, Gérard Welter. Rather than announcing any future production model, the show car presented at the Geneva Show borrows styling cues from the current Peugeot range and imagines more adventurous ways these might be deployed if they were not restricted by the constraints of the mass market.
Welter had challenged the 30 designers on his team to come up with a rear-engined sports car that would seat four people in comfort. “Every design centre on the planet”, points out Welter, “has a drawful of designs for low-slung performance sports models”.
Having come up with a short list of eight designs, Welter asked their eight creators to convert their ideas into scale models. From these, he selected the concept developed by the 27-year-old Frenchman, Nicolas Brissonneau.
Having started out with pencil and paper, Welter’s team then used computers to develop their ideas. So it didn’t take long to create a new floorpan and a monocoque body in carbon fibre, in fact the whole process from first sketch to finished model moved at top speed.
“The interior”, claims Welter, “is one of the RC’s major strengths. We wanted it to be a real four-seater with ample legroom at the back”. The same red and black that form the colour scheme for the instruments and interior trim reappear on the exterior as body colour options: the 2.0 petrol version gets a black paintjob and the 2.2 Diesel HDI (an unusual engine choice for a car of this type) goes for red.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 133