The iconic Peugeot 504 Coupe has inspired an exciting new all-electric concept – the autonomous Peugeot e-Legend. The retro-styled homage will make its public debut at the Paris motor show from tomorrow (October 4), 50 years after the 504 model originally made its debut at the 1968 Paris Salon. The concept’s 504 DNA is clear, with the traditional three-box design featuring a heavily raked rear windscreen, oldschool Peugeot badging, a faux front grille, protruding aluminium beams that mimic traditional bumpers and quad front headlamps. Inside, the seats feature blue velvet upholstery as another nod to the past.
However, the drivetrain is far from retro. The e-Legend uses a bespoke electric platform with an all-wheel-drive powertrain fed by a 100kWh battery pack. Power is rated at 456bhp, with 590lb. ft of torque on tap. It should do 0-62mph in under four seconds, and have a range of 370 miles. The concept offers four modes of driving – two autonomous and two manual – which can be selected depending on the road and traffic conditions, as well as the driver’s preference.
In its autonomous modes the car’s interior configuration changes, with the steering wheel retracting in order to make the 49-inch central screen fully visible while the car does the work of driving all by itself. As part of the entertainment there’s even a built-in version of Pong, a video game developed around the same time as the 504 Coupe.
Peugeot design boss Gilles Vidal said the e-Legend was designed to deliberately contrast with its last autonomous concept, the Instinct. “That took the shape of a future-orientated machine. We wanted to push that logic further, and talk about a non-boring future in which we don’t have to have slow-looking cars that are sleek and minimalistic. Humans are emotional animals, so let’s have exciting things.”
For now it’s just a hypothetical concept, but the manufacturers estimate that the components and technologies in the vehicle would be ready for manufacturing by 2025, and that many elements could be used on future production models. At the very least, it provides some reassurance that the cars of the future needn’t be boring and homogenous.